Following Labor Day 2016, I knew I would be starting my new role as Marketing Manager with Spartan Logistics and it would be a short week; who wouldn't be excited about that.
I was informed that I was going to experience my first annual team building Managers Retreat at the end of the week, spilling into the weekend. I've been part of many Sales/Operations meetings in my 20-year tenure, but Team Building was never implied, or practiced. I couldn't wait to see how it was received.
By Friday, all of Spartan's Managers flew or drove into Columbus, OH. We were all expected to meet early morning in Delaware, OH at the Black Wing Shooting Center. Following a catered breakfast and a quick 'Who Am I" game, the first team building event started with two indoor separate target shooting excercises, experiencing the feel of a .22 and 9mm. It encouraged everyone to break out of their comfort zone and create friendly competition. As I photographed the first Spartan team shooting targets, I noticed support and laughter among new and long-term employees as they viewed their target papers. Thankfully, no one got shot. Although I'm no Annie Oakley, I really enjoyed my first indoor shooting experience.
Following lunch, we were all more settled in. We paired off in groups of five for the outdoor course to use a 12-guage shotgun to shoot at sporting clays, which by the way, seem to move at the speed of light. We moved through the entire course, cheering and supporting each other along the way. Upon completion of the course, prizes were awarded to the best shooters. I would definitely shoot skeet again.
By late afternoon, we arrived at our hotel to quickly shower and change into our character assigned costumes to take part in a Murder Mystery Dinner. I don't think anyone thought they would be so engaged in trying to solve a murder case. While feasting on a spread of food, laughing, and gathering information, we eventually figured out who murdered Alex Jade.
Our Saturday morning started out with a breakfast feast at the hotel, followed by your standard Operations meeting in the hotel conference room. It was then turned over to a local speaker who specializes in speaking engagements at corporate events. He had us all engage in team building exercises. It was interesting to see how we all think differently to solve a problem, yet in the end, come to the same conclusion. The President of Spartan ended the morning meeting with an inspirational speech on being exceptional. He asked us to think about how we can be exceptional each week, at home and at work. This warmed my heart.
If I've learned anything from my first week as a new employee...this team plays hard and works hard. I can definitely see them becoming my extended family for the long-term.