Many returned to their offices today after the Thanksgiving holiday to see the predictable appearance of twinkling lights and poinsettia plants in the lobby. The holiday season is upon us, and therefore so is the season of holiday office events. If you're a manager who's less than thrilled about planning the annual shindig or setting up the secret Santa, the Southwest Airlines blog, 'Nuts about Southwest,' offers some perspective on holiday office events today:
Although having FUN is its own reward, Halloween at Southwest is a lot more than just having FUN. Maybe, no one ever planned for it to be more, but it is nonetheless. In fact, in a recent session at a Corporate Communications Conference co-sponsored by Southwest and Ragan Communication, Gary Kelly said about Halloween, "If you've ever gone through a Team Building exercise like a 'ropes course' or something like that, this is the ultimate Team Building."Things get a little wild around the Southwest HQ on October 31st. Events include a musical review presented by the Executive Office, and a parody of Ferris Beuller put on by the Finance Department. Silly it may be (OK, definitely is) but there is a point beyond airing every Southwest exec's inner actor.
The better you know someone, the better potential you have to build a strong relationship with them. Strong relationships help get things done day in and day out, and especially in times of crisis. So ask yourself this. Who are you more likely to have a strong relationship with --Someone you sit in meetings with day after day and only discuss work with? Or someone you you depended on to help you with costume changes, someone who taught you how to "walk cool" to the beat, and someone who, on that fateful day, looked an awful lot like Elvis, or maybe even Edna Turnblad?
The good (and not embarrassment prone) folks at Nuts about Southwest even provide a video. Probably you're unwilling to dress like Edna Turnblad to bolster team spirit, but the celebrations at Southwest do serve as a reminder that you don't simply have to go through the holiday motions. Those celebrations can actually accomplish something positive.