In the City of Angels we recently spent the day facilitating team bonding activities with some old friends. The Essex Property Corporation has earned a stellar reputation for quality apartment construction and the development of beautifully designed communities.  They’re one of the biggest real estate developers on the West Coast; and philanthropically, they have one of the biggest hearts.

We’ve worked with Essex in the past, and they’re a very strong team with a healthy corporate culture. But they want to raise the bar even higher on their team bonding goals in order to become more dynamic industry leaders. And there’s nothing more important to these change agents than giving back to the community. So they convened 90 members of their staff from all over California to meet the Magnovo team at the Hilton Woodland Hills, in Los Angeles. They were eager to participate in our Wagon Builders Team Building Workshop.

Before we could get started with the Essex contingent, we were bowled over by the Hilton Woodland Hills management. You see, our team had a rather short window of time in which to set up. When the hotel managers realized that we were in a bind, they rolled up their sleeves and helped! They unloaded the wagons and gifts so that  we’d be ready for our clients.

It was a hot day and the work was hard! Nevertheless these managers pitched in without being asked, and they worked just as hard as our Magnovo team. And to top it off, the room they provided for the main event was simply fantastic! Their customer service was elevated to the level of genuine customer care, and it exceeded our wildest expectations!

Wagon building fosters team bonding

The Essex staffers were divided into teams for purportedly one of the most gratifying team bonding experiences they’d ever had. They assembled 14 wagons which required both communications and problem solving skills. Then they “blinged out” each wagon with colorful and imaginative decorations. And for the piece de resistance, they crammed each  glamorized wagon full of toys, books, and games. The recipients: hospitalized children, all of whom are gravely or terminally ill.

The the wagons would be distributed by the Ronald McDonald House of Pasadena. Melissa Malone, their Director Of Development, Events and Corporate Engagement, was delighted and grateful for each wagon. When she explained why these particular wagons were so special, the Essex staff fell into a stunned silence.

Each wagon would become a “chariot of love” for those patients who were able to leave their beds. Now their parents can wheel them around the hospital in style. What a welcomed diversion from the physical and emotional onslaught with which they have to cope every day! And the toys, games, and other gifts would be shared with the siblings of these sick babies.

Team bonding kudos

As we hoped, the Essex team received a tremendous emotional payoff that always comes with Magnovo’s charitable team building events.  But they also received a trophy for their artistry. Each member of the team with the most original decorations won a trophy. So they left the event with their arms full, their hearts overflowing, and the company’s team bonding goals achieved.