Fun may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we reflect on the past year (neither, for many of us, is the phrase “at work”), but today is National Fun at Work Day, and we’re celebrating by looking at some of the ways Millwood has tried to keep the workplace enjoyable, even under unprecedented circumstances.
Many of our facilities host celebrations for birthdays and holidays, and this past year was no exception. Parties were adapted to meet new safety guidelines, but those changes didn’t put a damper on the festivities; in some cases, team members leaned into the new normal. For Easter, one plant held a mask-coloring contest to help encourage team members’ children to flex their artistic muscles while promoting mask safety and making the workplace a little more colorful.
One of the easiest ways to cultivate joy is by giving back to our communities. Our team members are always looking for new ways to participate in projects to help others while making it fun at the same time. One facility held a cookout event as a benefit for homeless individuals in their city.
“It was an honor and privilege to work alongside plant manager Matt Rissman and Pastor Jeremy to provide food, fun and fellowship for those who may not be as blessed,” Todd Ard, a second shift supervisor at our Florence, SC location, said.
Over the past year, several of our facilities held raffles to boost participation in fundraisers and food drives, which included exciting prizes. Some facilities gamified their outreach projects by holding a food drive contest between plants to see which one could bring in the most food. This motivated team members even further, and between them, the participating plants donated more than a half a ton of food.
“As event organizers, we want to be able to provide the team with opportunities to serve others as well as receive tangible rewards that the team will appreciate,” De Pere, WI Plant Manager Chad Radke said.
For our corporate team members, the workplace has looked a lot different over the past year. Our office has been mostly remote since the onset of COVID-19. Prior to the work-from-home standard, our morale team organized ways for team members to feel appreciated in the office, such as our Employee Appreciation Day celebration.
“Overall, it was a good day for everyone. I love doing stuff like this for the employees, and it is great to know that management supports us treating our employees well,” said Misty Parshall, assistant controller, who helped organize the event last March.
To help facilitate connection while being separated, the morale team sent out weekly challenges for anyone to participate in. Challenges included everything from taking a daily walk to a coloring contest.
The morale team also facilitated ways for the corporate team to stay connected on social media. They created a Facebook group for corporate team members to join and hosted video calls for small celebrations, such as National Dog Day. On Dog Day, we would typically see the corporate office filled with furry friends. Instead, team members logged into Zoom to celebrate their pooches.
We missed out on some of our more fun gatherings this past year due to the pandemic, but with the advent of the COVID-19 vaccine we hope that soon we will be able to gather as we once did. In the meantime, Millwood is blessed to have team members dedicated to making the best of their situation and having fun at work, wherever work may be.