Focus Follows Fun!
In our crazy deadline-oriented world, we often forget to have some fun. I like to remind the sales managers that I work with that focus follows fun. Creating a fun work environment can be accomplished in various ways. One of the best that I have found to establish a fun atmosphere is to specifically design an event that challenges the group in an enjoyable way. When people arrive at work every day loving what they do, their attitudes become contagious.
Starting this summer, I had an opportunity to be involved in three specific fun events at media companies where Luce Performance Group consults.
Each company took the concept and put their spin on it. Below are some examples of the fun events that were created by each media company. The employees who participated told me that their event was hands down the best day that they have ever had working at their media company. Many said that it will be something they will not soon forget. Events like these can go a long way towards retaining employees since they can transform individuals into a team.
Example #1: The Fifth Annual KCAL and KOLA Challenge:
The KOLA & KCAL Challenge was divided into two parts. The sales staffs of each station were pitted against one another in a full day of contests. The team events started that morning with a limo ride from the station to an indoor arena in nearby Upland, California. The teams had two types of challenges: mental and physical. The mental challenges centered on selling techniques. Each team had prepared for the mental challenge beforehand. They had studied such things as the seven steps of an opening call, the seven steps of a closing call, and calculating ROI. The physical challenges consisted of:
• Blind Man’s Soccer
• Shark Attack
• Try Your Luck at the Puck
• Hoop Dreams
• Valerie Volleyball
• Next Pizza Star
• Beer Pongo-Bongo
All of the physical challenges were done as teams. In Blind Man’s Soccer, for example, a blindfold was put on one person while another team member coached them down the soccer field to attempt a goal. Basketball was a game of Pig, and Beer Pong was well, Beer Pong. After each physical event, the teams gathered for their mental challenges. The Challenge was a great teambuilding event for both staffs.
Example #2: 2012 Castanet Olympics:
The Castanet Olympics II was played outside by Okanagan Lake on a picture perfect day. Castanet is a hyper-local pure-play website which is the largest revenue per capita local website in the world.
Castanet included their entire staff for the event. The teams competed at the beach with basketball courts and soccer fields at their disposal. The Olympics was also an all-day event with physical and mental challenges. Castanet’s Olympics concluded with a competitive best-of-three on the sand volleyball court, and the winner took all. Until the volleyball game, points were awarded to each team for winning the physical challenge as well as the mental challenge portions of the event. Just as they did at KCAL/KOLA, an awards ceremony concluded the event with the winning team receiving gold medals and the other team silver medals. The winning team also shared a monetary prize.
Example #3: the Amazing Ricky Race:
The Amazing Ricky Race was the final event that I participated in this fall. It was the icing on the cake, or should I say the antlers on the deer. The Race also had both physical and mental challenges, but followed the theme of the TV show The Amazing Race.
The Amazing Ricky Race was an event organized by The Ozark Radio Network and The Ozark Horse Trader. The events centered on the Ozarks where farming and hunting are popular pastimes.
The sales reps from each group competed for bragging rights, a trophy, and a cash prize. This challenge had a twist from the others in that the mental challenges were done as a scavenger hunt to local client’s businesses. The teams had to answer various questions regarding sales and product information in order to get the clue for their next destination. The unexpected fun from the scavenger hunt was seeing how excited the customers were to participate in the event.
In the afternoon, physical challenges took over at the local pumpkin farm, including a Pig Scramble. I had the “privilege” of participating on one of the teams. Let’s just say this Nebraska boy held his own, pinning down the oinker while my teammate kissed the pig on the snout for 100 extra points. Finding clues in the corn field maze was quite the test not to mention the target practice using an air gun loaded with black walnuts. The Race concluded with a set of tiebreaker questions on selling techniques.
For all three locations, the events were certainly a day the participants will always remember. The positive energy and attitude bring back the “loving what you do” part of work. One of my mantras has always been education is entertainment, and entertainment is education. These events epitomized that mantra.
Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at email@example.com.
Note: The success of these events was in direct correlation to their planning and execution. If you are interested in more information on these events, please contact me at the above email address.
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