Just add a cup of appreciation for their work, two spoons of a good relationship with colleagues and superiors, a dash of learning opportunities and a pinch of great company values — and you are good to go! It sounds simple, right? But it is the same as with any delicious dish; it takes the simplest ingredients to create a piece of art.
As a company that takes pride in the fact that we are a people-centered one, we do our best to make our colleagues happy at work, but also outside of work. This is why we created a lot of engaging activities that are both a reflection of our values as well as a fun way to get to know each other outside of the work environment.
The Vivify Book Exchange club — as the name suggests, this is a club where we share books that we believe are worth sharing. We try to read as much as possible and improve our English. But the best part of this club is that it is so much more than being just a tool for learning English. It gives us an opportunity to get new ideas and become inspired, as well as engage in a dialogue that opens the door to a whole new realm.
Trivia Night — this activity proved to be a huge hit! A knowledge quiz, organized in a pub, consists of sixty questions that are divided into six categories (History, Film, Programming, Co-workers, Music, and Sport). It is a fun team building activity that promotes team cohesion and just a tiny bit of competition since there is a prize for the winning team. Last time it was a Room Escape adventure where that winning team could get to know each other even more and have a bit of fun as well.
Theme Food Fridays — every two weeks, a group of five people is picked randomly to come up with a food theme. This is organized on the Retrospective days, where we discuss what was done during those two weeks, what could be improved and what we will commit to improving in the next period. Recently, there was a Halloween theme with a so-called meathead made with the barbecue meat, an Oktoberfest theme with craft beer and sausages, and before that there was a Fish and chips theme.
English Monday — as it was mentioned above, we use every opportunity to learn and improve our English. Some people feel pressure when they have to speak English in public because they think that their speaking skills are poor. By using English every Monday, we are practicing our speaking skills and overcoming stage fright without even noticing it.
Vivify Newsletter — as one company grows, the number of employees increases, and it is not an easy task to keep everyone informed about what’s been going on in the company. A newsletter is a great solution for this issue. It represents our company’s culture, while simultaneously supporting a positive work environment. In our newsletter, there are several sections, such as Team members, Projects, Values in Vivify Ideas, as well as many others. There is even a section dedicated to Life at Vivify Ideas, where activities described in this article are mentioned.
Vivify Talk — every week, someone gives a Talk on a subject of their choice. Other members of our team can suggest various topics they want to know more about, and it is up to the lecturer to choose one of them or to simply use them as an inspiration. After each talk, colleagues give the lecturer feedback through a Google form. The best lectures get a prize as a reward. Some colleagues, however, prefer writing a blog post for either the Vivify Ideas or Vivify Scrum blogs, which is a great alternative for those who might suffer from stage fright or simply love to write.
Team buildings — these activities are typically done in nature. They are challenging both physically and intellectually, and involve doing something we haven’t done before. For example, this year we went to Fruska Gora mountain and did adventure hiking.
Besides these “bigger” team building activities, there is a bunch of activities that involve a smaller number of people. Table tennis and foosball are played every day, during lunch break or after working hours. These activities are competitive and loud and are usually paired with craft beer from our beer tap. There are also other activities that are centered around certain interests — basketball, football, paintball, archery, squash, etc. One thing that is common for all team building activities, whether they involve all employees or just a small number of them — they allow people to get to know each other which allows their relationship to evolve towards friendship and they, as a result, jell better as a team.
Birthdays — for every colleague’s birthday, a cake is bought. The birthday girl/boy then cuts the cake for everyone to celebrate it together. When it comes to the company birthday, we organize a barbecue where everyone can enjoy themselves with their families in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
New Year’s Retrospectives — at the end of the year we look back at our accomplishments and progress, and we announce our plans and objectives for the upcoming year. In order to celebrate our success, we have a dinner together and a night on the town.