Ever since we started the company over twenty-one years ago, we always try to come up with different ideas to have fun either on or off the job. Everybody knows how I feel about fun. I even created “Sunday Funday” at my house during the summer months, and it’s open to all employees, friends and neighbors. Fun events are always on a voluntary basis at IST unless it’s a management meeting. It’s no fun if someone is forced to attend an IST-sponsored event.
During the early years in Atlanta, we would have bowling nights, games at Dave & Busters, WAGIFY meetings, which stands for “Where Are You Going In Future Years,” and we even had monthly Toastmaster meetings to help employees improve their speaking skills. Those Toastmaster meetings were held in a hallway in the Peachtree Towers building because we didn’t have enough room in our office back in the late 1990’s. The point is that it should not be all work and no play. At IST, we work hard and play hard.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 8.8 hours every day. A lot of us, including me, work many more hours than the average norm. The point is that as hard as we all work, it’s important to mix it up with some good old-fashioned fun. It’s part of the IST culture. We’ve been doing Blackman Bucks now for many years. During the last Blackman’s Bucks Auction, 47 people won various prizes totaling over $3,700 including a $1,000 Shell Gas Gift Card. This is a great program because it’s competitive and fun to play. Most of the Blackman Bucks awarded are due to the employees having a positive impact on customer satisfaction. So it’s a win-win for both employees and client.
Kim Oleniacz, Senior Vice-President/Partner, is a good example of coming up with creative ways to have fun at IST and develop team building at the same time. She had a Cleveland site manager outing at an Escape Room. The theme was passing the 4th grade. They were all in a classroom with many tests. All the tests passed gave them clues to the final question and it was on a pass/fail basis. They came close to passing. Very cool.
Mike Tirri, Regional Operations Manager for New York had a recent event at Dave & Busters on 42nd Street in Manhattan. The event included about 40 employees including managers, regional stars and individuals who scored over 90% on their Executive Presence (EP) evaluations. After appetizers and cocktails, the team was given game cards. They challenged each other in a bunch of friendly games including ski ball, pac-man, and air hockey.
I would encourage all of you to continue having fun both on and off the job. Richard Branson, the English business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist, once said, “Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.” Words of wisdom.
Let’s follow Richard’s advice and continue to make IST a fun place to work! Thank you for all that you do. The final quarter of 2018 is upon us. Let’s knock it out of the ballpark!