With Guy Fawkes out of the way, the march towards Christmas is on. Just the ‘Thanksgiving’ holiday (for our American friends) to go, and the build up will be well underway.
This Christmas I’d like to think I can get away with not buying a load more stuff for our kids, and replace some of those gifts with memories instead. I want to spend money and time doing things together! Whether it’s a live football match, a trip to a show or even just a long walk with the dog, I want to create some special shared experiences with the family. It’s those experiences, rather than the stuff that was bought for me, that I remember from childhood.
Creating shared experiences for teams and individuals is something that I got a real buzz from working in the charity sector. As well as arranging overseas volunteer trips, I had the privilege of doing some pretty great fundraising challenges alongside people from all kinds of dental companies and practices – walking the Great Wall of China, Climbing Kilimanjaro, and cycling from the south of France to Northern Spain through the Pyrenees. Many of those those people became and remain great friends, and for each one of us, there is a special bond because of our shared experience of challenge, adversity and ultimately success and achievement.
It’s a common theme – doing things together forges friendships and builds trust, and that is great news for teams. I was chatting to a friend last week – a director in a major dental company. He was excited by what had happened for an inter-departmental group from his company that had completed one of those muddy challenges recently, and the marked impact it had had on their relationships, communication, ability to collaborate and the increase in the level of positivity that had resulted.
Taking part in challenges and events, particularly those that raise money for good causes has a huge benefit for all concerned:
the personal sense of achievement for the individual
the benefits for team communication, collaboration, relationships and trust
the benefits for the business of a more effective, engaged team, the uplift in external perception, and the knowledge that you are ‘doing good things’ as a company.
It’s one of the many reasons why I wanted to start helping businesses with their CSR. Helping them to select the right kind of events, show them how to engage their teams, keep them focussed, and help them extract maximum benefit for the individuals, the organisation and the charity.
It doesn’t have to be as big as an international ‘once in a lifetime’ challenge. Start small, see the benefits, and grow from there.
The more you can provide opportunities for your team to create shared experiences around a good cause, the better. Everyone wins.
What about you?