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#IRL – Building Relationships Through Company Outings

#IRL – Building Relationships Through Company Outings

I just had an incredibly fun trip to Seattle, and I picked the most sunny week to travel there! The weather was fantastic, and the camaraderie was even better. I was able to kickstart the new Hecklers’ Hangout program with co-host Margie Clayman, and I had the added benefit of “going on location” with our first guest Ellen Bremen. For those keeping score…

  • Brian getting snacks from Hecklers’ Hangout special guest: 1
  • Margie getting snacks from Hecklers’ Hangout special guest: 0

I am sure Margie will eventually surpass me because, face it, Margie knows everybody!

The original purpose of this Seattle trip was to participate in the annual Mantis all-company golf tournament. For a hack who has not swung a club in over two years, I still had  some nice drives and occasional iron play…umm, my putting remained horrendous. The truly rewarding part of the tournament was seeing the genuine camaraderie between all of the employees. Laughter abounded to go along with significant “one-upsmanship”.

Golf tournaments are great company outings and IRL events

Our VP of QA, Ken Mizell, teeing off – keep those feet rooted to the ground, Ken!

The most telling measures of the success of this company outing were the comments from first-timers. They remarked that they had never been to that type of company event on prior jobs. These same first-timers stayed for the entire event – no leaving early after fulfilling some obligation to attend a company event. It further hammers home the point that Mantis employees tend to stay Mantis employees. Those that venture to the other side of the fence because they think the grass is greener…tend to find their way back to this unique company with the engaging culture.

When is the last time you took your team out for a fun event? We did golf this time, but we’ve also hosted “BI Over Beer” events, get-togethers at micro-breweries or wineries, or just outings in the park with horseshoes and volleyball.

And while you are planning these fun events – invite your clients to some of them! I knew one company who took their clients out to a skeet-shooting range. It was – ahem – a blast!! Never let the competition become solely about the price for clients or salary/benefits for the employees. Build and nurture those relationships, let them know that you care, and then show your value everyday while having a little fun along the way.

Enjoy the following video describing the necessity of IRL events to build relationships. Then leave your blog comments to describe the most original company or networking outing you ever attended. Let’s crowd-source some great ideas that help build strong relationships with long-lasting mutual benefits…starting with genuine friendship.

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and now grandsons! I am blessed in that I also love my job as a VP of Enterprise Solutions for ProKarma. I appreciate the convergence of big data and data visualization in our Pulse Analytics social listening and analytics platform as well as our core software / mobile app development, business intelligence, and test automation services. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin. You can find Brian on .

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4 comments
dadblunders
dadblunders

I have never been fortunate enough to EVER work for a company that did things for things employees. Every place I have ever worked was always on a tight budget (states) or about the bottom dollar (corporations.) My wife, was fortunate to work for one such company until they were sold to a bank and well.......I won't tell that story..... I will say until they were under there current owners they were in the top 20 mid size companies to work for (there not anymore...go figure) They now have a turn over rate and they have gotten rid of almost everyone that was a "veteran" in knowing how the company worked. They used to take the employees and the spouses out to various things (now i doubt they even know my name) Life as a way of turning out much differently than we had planned....but we carry on. :) Brian - I am awarding you the Liebster Award! I hope you accept this award from me. http://www.dadblunders.com/2012/09/15/liebster-award/ Aaron

Mimi
Mimi

Oh my goodness, don't you love WA? I'm from Redmond/Woodinville and loved Kirkland. I think bringing in clients to an event like what you guys did was a great idea. My boss in my dept tries to do small things for us. Our hardware store doesn't go out like that except once a year after we all get our bonus checks. lol it's nice to build that relationship, but it's something that isn't official. Enjoyable though!

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

Amazing how a company acquisition can change the culture. Some leadership has forgotten the benefits of instilling loyalty...and that it is a lot less expensive to keep good employees versus always having to replace them due to turnover. I read your blog post for the Liebster Award. Does this mean I answer those questions at the end? I gotta find the time (I'm IRL again all afternoon at a TDWI Chapter event).

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

We lived in Woodinville (Cottage Lake) for four years, Mimi. We loved it. The Seattle area also has a wide variety of venues - from inexpensive to prohibitively expensive - to use for IRL events like this. It can definitely build internal camaraderie or just depth in client relationships. Thanks for stopping by, Mimi.