All-team meetings are a huge part of the culture at OSS. Every 6 months we take time to meet as a whole team. With two office locations and differing work schedules it is not uncommon for some team members to have no face to face interaction with several other team members. We value communication as our number one team principle, so it is important for everyone to communicate on a regular basis.
All-team meetings allow our collective talent and knowledge to come together. We share ideas and challenges which provides a broader perspective to problem solving and greater unity as changes are implemented. Sharing information across teams, as well as up and down the chain of command, is essential to making sure good ideas are implemented. This unrestricted communication is also important for identifying problems that need to be addressed.
Our culture functions much like a family. Caring/nurturing parents, responsible older siblings, and respect for one another set the stage for healthy family communication. Managers and team leaders are selected because they work well with their respective teams, and have the ability to identify and encourage the best in others around them. Teams are built based on the skill sets of the individual members. Special projects and specific duties are assigned to team members based on sub-skills and interests of individual team members.
Below is the agenda for one of our team meetings:
8:00 All-team and small group photos at Parkview.
9:00 Return to OSS for individual photos in the lobby.
10:00 – 11:00 Presentation.
11:00 – Noon OSHA.
After OSHA teams will get details about: “Inspire a Genuine Smile Projects”.
Noon – 4:30 Groups discuss Genuine Smile Project ideas, lunch & offsite activity.
4:30 Return to OSS.
Offsite activities are often intended to be a surprise and a reward for team members. At the last all-team meeting we had a team lunch and then went for a trolley ride visiting some shops around town.
“Inspire a Genuine Smile” projects are designed to get our team members collaborating and serving others. This time we broke into several groups of 5 or 6 people, each group was given $50 cash and instructed to “Inspire a Genuine Smile”.
The groups all had unique ways of making that happen. One group bought three dozen cookies from a local bake shop and took them downtown with a sign that said “smile for a cookie”. They took pictures and made a short video of all sorts of people smiling for a cookie; homeless folks, police officers, business executives, and downtown shoppers all smiled for cookies!
One of the teams went to an animal shelter and brought in items they needed for the cats and dogs. They stayed and played with some kittens, and shared a smile with the volunteers at the shelter.
Another team took a box of delicious treats to a firehouse and shared it with the firefighters. One group went to a Mexican restaurant and asked the manager which waitress could use some help. They got her table, enjoyed afternoon snacks, and then gave her an envelope with the $50 tip inside. She cried, then smiled and hugged them!
Another group went to the Dollar Tree, purchased a whole grocery cart full of household items, and then delivered them to a facility that helps displaced families get back on their feet. The volunteers at the facility were amazing! They took a beautiful smiling group photo and shared stories with the team.
The last group went to Erin's House, a facility for grieving children, and purchased items from their wishlist. They delivered craft items, coloring books, stickers, markers and picture frames.
All of the teams returned to the office and shared pictures and stories of the smiles that were inspired by each group that day!
I say this often and it remains so true...I am so blessed to work with this amazing group of people!