I saw first hand last night that entertainment is still the number one choice for corporations to inspire and encourage its workers. The large store was packed with a couple hundred people wearing team t-shirts, super hero capes and villain costumes. The gathering was to support their cashier clerks’ competition in a district level Olympics.
The festivities kicked off with a parade of stores marching in themed costumes and making enough noise to not only be noticed, but to display their store enthusiasm. While some wore elaborate costumes, others had just enough of a design to hint at their favorite character, and still others donned simple themed t-shirts.
The Olympic competition saw cashier clerks from several stores match wits, skill and speed at the registers. Some demonstrated an awesome prowess that comes from significant repetitive experience and others displayed skills that revealed their secret ability in spotting shoplifters.
To entertain the crowd that wasn’t able to fit around the competition registers, a live DJ spun the latest music and energized the dance floor with people of all ages. Several showcased their clubbing experience with style. A few people like me, who held our own, quickly picked up on the latest line dance with a touch of flare – At least in my mind.
Plenty of food followed from the long buffet that managed to feed hundreds within 15-20 minutes. Then came the medal announcements and the team spirit award, which raised such a loud ruckus that I had to plug my ears numerous times.
My invitation was from the store that won the silver and I was encouraged to attend the soon to follow regional competition. I was also warned to bring earplugs, as the din of the crowd will well exceed the ear piercing decibels displayed last night.
After the explosive night of fun filled entertainment, I sat back in my couch with a cup of cinnamon tea and thought through what I had experienced. I realized that there were four key reasons the stores threw an elaborate night of entertainment.
- Lifts Spirits – While there’s a curmudgeon in every crowd, it was difficult to find them in a sea of smiles, laughter and spirited shouting. Most everyone left in a far better mood than the workday had inspired.
- Team Bonding – The camaraderie between teammates became obvious. People who struggled to work side-by-side with coworkers found a new way to come together on behalf of their team. This bonding experience in of itself will lead to more customer satisfaction as workers team together toward common goals during work hours.
- Inspires Self-Expression – Donning costumes of one’s own design not only displays the person’s tastes, but also reveals their dedication and style, while hinting at their private lives. The amount of effort and detail placed in a costume speaks volumes about the person’s attitude and their position among peers.
- Displays Skills – The competition establishes bragging rights and raises the bar on development and training. Those who medal in the event also glean new levels of respect.
The experience was well worth my time and I even took home a souvenir team t-shirt. While I’m not yet sure if I’ll risk the noise levels next week, I couldn’t help but wonder how the entertainment levels might step up at the regional competition – One of last year’s events saw motorcycles racing through store aisles and horses trotting around floor displays.
What types of entertainment are used to inspire workers at your place of employment?