By Rieka Timm—HR Manager
Team building events at a virtual company are a must. At ETMG, outside of monthly staff meetings and one-on-one meetings for coffee or lunch, we make a point of getting together at least twice a year to participate in group activities. For the past 13 years we have planned many events: bowling, Giants games, a family picnic, miniature golf, wine tasting, a chocolate factory tour, go-cart racing, and MANY cooking classes. These activities strengthen morale and remind us what makes ETMG a solid team.
One of our favorite team building events was in the Fall of 2009. We decided to step up our culinary skills and participate in an “Iron Chef” style cooking competition. After all the cooking classes we’ve done together, it was time for more of a challenge and perhaps a little bit of healthy competition.
Our ingredients and teams were pre-selected by the event coordinator from Parties That Cook. Each team was given a professional chef to consult with. Once both teams decided on their menus, the kitchen was all a frenzy with aspiring chefs grabbing their ingredients, tools, and the utensils needed to get the job done. You could hear the chopping of meat, the slicing of veggies, the sizzling of oil, and an occasional “behind you!” as someone hurried to get back to their workstation. After all, this was a timed competition and winning was on all of our minds.
An hour of food prep flew by. It was now time for plating, garnishing and the judging of the meals by the professional chefs. The courses came out of the oven, off the stove and out of the refrigerator. With experienced marketeers on each team, you can only imagine the pitches and anecdotes that went along with the visual presentation. Finally a winning team was announced (it was very close) but there’s really no need to mention who won the challenge, that really wasn’t the point. In the end we enjoyed a lovely lunch together, and years later are still reminiscing about the great time we had.
Our next team-building event will be in July and we will be giving back to the community by helping out at the Second Harvest Food Bank. Really no matter what we do, as long as we do it as a group, every one benefits.