Last week was the annual iDashboards Spirit Week, which included six days of fun team-building activities. I got the chance to experience it for the first time as a new employee, and it’s my great privilege to give you an inside look into what happened during each day of the week…
Monday: Company Picnic
We kicked off spirit week with a picnic lunch at a nearby park. While there was a chance of rain, we lucked out and the weather ended up being perfect. There was also a raffle for Tigers tickets for everyone who showed their company pride by wearing iDashboards shirts. The “Keep Austin Weird” shirt from our 2017 iDashboards Conference was by far the most popular apparel choice…
Tuesday: Christmas in July
What better way to celebrate Christmas than a potluck, ugly sweaters, and 80-degree weather? On Tuesday, each iDashboards employee brought in something to contribute to a huge potluck lunch. There were prizes for the best appetizers, entrees, desserts, and ugly Christmas sweaters. Halfway through the meal, there was a surprise performance of the “12 Days of Spirit Week” from some of our fellow employees. Just to make sure you are adequately jealous of our “Christmas” feast, these were some of the winning dishes…
- Inside-out Wet Burritos
- Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
- S’mores Squares
Read next: Meet the Pets of iDashboards!
Wednesday: Happy Hour & Hats
Everyone who wore hats on Wednesday took part in a group picture and were entered into a raffle for Tigers tickets. The festivities continued after work with a happy hour at Clubhouse BFD. We have a company sponsored happy hour every quarter, but summer is always the best because we get that sweet, sweet patio action. True story: Every Michigander is a sucker for patios. Look it up!
Thursday: Company Presentation
On Thursday, our CEO, Shadan Malik, gave a presentation about the state of the company. We had some of our international colleagues join us over the phone to get a comprehensive look at the company as a whole. It was a great way to more formally transition from Q1/Q2 into the second half of the year and make sure we are all focusing on the same goals.
Everyone wore apparel from their favorite sports team, with most of us representing the Michigan professional and college sports teams. I was one of only three people who made the right call and wore the University of Michigan Maize and Blue (wasn’t sure if I should count the Wolverine comic book shirt?), while nine people wore Michigan State shirts. But, it’s not a competition, unlike our Friday event.
Friday: Golf Outing
My favorite day of the week was definitely the company golf outing. I grew up playing competitive golf, but quickly realized that most of my co-workers’ golf “careers” started at their first iDashboards outing. That being said, nobody let their lack of golf experience detract from having fun at the outing. While there were awards given out for first place, second place, longest drive, and closest to the pin, there were some non-golf-related prizes as well. Each team was given a selfie stick at the beginning of the day to take pictures to be displayed on a projected slideshow when we all came in to eat after the round.
While my team opted for a minimal-effort approach when it came to our name and coordinating outfits, there were a couple of teams that made that a priority. The team that took home the prize for most spirited dressed up as the “Royal Wedding” and decked out their carts with “Just Married” signs and tin cans attached to the bumper. Another team embraced the “Alice in Wonderland” theme with each team member dressing up as a different character – the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, and Alice (of course).
Saturday: Family Picnic
Saturday night, everyone brought their families to Jimmy John’s Field to watch the Utica Unicorns take on the Diamond Hoppers. We took a group photo on the field, held the American flag for the National Anthem, and Matt Gentry (our Senior Technical Services Manager) got to throw out the first pitch. Unfortunately, nobody actually saw him pitch, but he assures us that it was perfect. The kids enjoyed meeting the mascots, getting autographs from the athletes, and running the bases. After the baseball game was over, many of us stuck around to enjoy the weather, listen to a 70’s band, and play cornhole.
Reflecting on Spirit Week
As I’m writing this, we are back in the office for another (normal) week of work and everyone still seems a little tired. Spirit Week was definitely a good experience as a new employee. It’s nice to be a part of a company that cares this much about their employees. It was also a good opportunity for me to interact with co-workers from different departments, see everyone outside of the typical work environment, and meet a couple of the remote employees who came in for the week to join in on the festivities.
Just because Spirit Week is over, doesn’t mean that the team-building activities are coming to an end. Our company culture is fun and engaging year-round. Whether it’s competing in dodgeball tournaments, going to happy hours after work, or volunteering at the Humane Society, there always seems to be something new to get involved with at iDashboards!