As posted earlier, I wanted to take my team out of the office – away from the stress of work and all the bullshit that usually goes on. A day away from work, where I could make sure that they enjoyed the team, bonded a bit, played some games and a little workshop as well. Ofcourse, I wanted them to have a good lavish meal as well.
I knew what I wanted. I wanted to take them out to a hotel, use one of their board/meeting rooms, conduct a couple of sessions, throw in some games and team bonding stuff and feed them. This costs money and I ended up getting it this way – the team would put a nominal figure, the company would pay some and I’d fund the rest. I got almost exactly what I wanted as you’ll see once you read.
The main part was the venue – no problems there as the company has tie-ups with a couple of 3 star hotels in the city and we get some concession and we get it on credit. Ok, so Hotel Park Residency near the Civil station in Kakkanad was chosen and I made the booking through the Admin department in my office.
So here is the list I demanded –
- I needed a small room to conduct the session. The hotel would give us a board room
- I needed a laptop, since I didn’t have one, and a projector to show the ppts and other stuff on
- I needed speakers in order to play some music on
- I wanted a 11 am fruit juice with a snack for 10 of us
- Lunch at 1:30 am
- Coffee/tea and biscuits at 4:30 pm
What I got was the tiny boardroom called ‘Login Board Room’ which they keep for meetings. Anymore than 10 (our exact numbers) would have been a stretch @ the table. The laptop was an old Toshiba that was on the verge of extinction and the speakers that they gave us were older than me! Something you would have dug up from the Titanic! So playing music didn’t pan out the way that I had expected.
Unfortunately one of my Trainers, Wasim, couldn’t make it to the event as his uncle had an accident and was hospitalized in a critical condition. And another trainer, Firdous, could only make it by 1 pm as he had to go for his cousin’s housewarming as well. Manoj, my MIS guy, was the only one who had a car, so he piled Rajeesh, Anusha & Rekha into it and I asked them to bring along a projector from our office. The rest of them joined me at the hotel by 10 am and we settled into these amazingly comfortable chairs, that you see in the pic here. Too bad we couldn’t take them back with us :)
I had wanted to take them through a psychometric test for office purposes and got that done with at the very beginning. It was a 29 question test that we’d taken from some website and which I’d submit to the corporate team. By then we were brought our fruit juices, which turned out to be pineapple, and the snack – which were very light but quite good club sandwiches. The sandwiches came along with some spicy chips and cucumber & tomato slices.
I made them play some games; I hope you know what Lighthouse is. It’s basically a team bonding game where you blindfold a person and one team has to guide them to the ‘lighthouse’ or safe zone and the other team has to misguide them by saying the wrong directions. And the lighthouse has two large KitKat chocolate bars – which I kept changing positions to make it even more interesting. We did that and then I made them play Two Truths & A Lie.
We had one more session which I made my second in command, Ajeeba, take us through. It was a brief ppt that I had made on Building Rapport. By that time it was 2 pm and we were hungry and ready to build a rapport with the food waiting for us. So we marched on through to the dinning hall and ate nan, fried rice, chicken kadai, some veggi kadai, gobi manchurian & fish curry. There also was some curd and salads. I did not like the desert that they gave us – looked and tasted like jam with banana & some other fruit pieces.
However, stomachs full, we came back to the room and relaxed with some music. For the rest of the time, other than a brief respite for coffee & biscuits, I pitted the girls versus the boys in a quiz competition that was mostly on questions on our company. Certain prizes were the loads of KitKat chocolates that I had bought for the occasion. The girls thrashed the boys in the battle of the sexes based on the number of chocolate bars that they piled up on their side of the table.
I bet they brag about that for the rest of the week too! As soon as the long game ended, I asked for the bill and signed for it. We then piled up our stuff and made our way out. Pretty soon we were on our way back to our respective homes. I hope for more such days like this.