When PricewaterhouseCoopers wanted a charity team building program for its employees but they had only a 90-minute block of time to do it, we knew just the solution. A RescueBuddies™ event allows folks to work on critical soft skills while producing meaningful toys for children. And by arranging for these stuffed animals to go to the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, the company kept its good work local.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Teams Don’t Disappoint
Because we had a short period of time to work in, participants had already self-selected into teams before the day of the event. That way, we could get to work quickly. We did hold a few mini-ice breaker games to loosen up the group of about 70 people. Then we gave each group materials and tools. We expected to assemble dozens of RescueBuddies™ that day, and the PricewaterhouseCoopers teams worked quickly.
In order to provide some learning opportunities, we gave each team challenges and obstacles to complete as part of their work. Learning through games allowed for folks to try new things and make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment. People had the chance to practice project planning and execution, problem-solving, and communication. Teamwork skills were, of course, an essential part of the program.
Helping Kids Through Dallas Fire-Rescue Department
Participants created dozens of stuffed animals in the allotted time. They were all going to the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department. Fire fighters would hand them out to kids in need. The fire department’s Elaine Maddox was in attendance; we invited her to accept the donation of RescueBuddies™, and to speak briefly to the group.
There was barely a dry eye in the room when Ms. Maddox shared some of the stories of kids the department had helped through tough times. It was a beautiful thing to see what started as ‘work’ turn into something deeply personal for many participants, several of whom were parents themselves.
Lessons Learned in Dallas, TX
After Ms. Maddox’ remarks, we hosted a quick debriefing session with the PricewaterhouseCoopers team. We encouraged folks to talk about what they learned, how they felt about the day’s activities, and what kind of ideas they were taking back to work with them. It was clear from their comments that this team building program had a significant impact on them. Our facilitator assisted participants in articulating their thoughts in a group setting; sharing these feelings made the experience richer for all.