Cool Morale Event

Sometimes when I think about the concept of a "morale event" I think it's an oxymoron (just sometimes). Maybe because my first experience with the concept was a "forced hike" ....oops, I mean hiking excursion (no offense if one of the event planners happens to read this...really). I had just moved to Seattle and I couldn't believe that these people insisted in hiking even though it was pouring rain...and cold. I'd probably be more into in now that I am in better shape, but still, it was a shock to the system of a relocated city girl (I understand it more now after being here for 5.5 years). The link between the event and the actual fun wasn't particularly clear to me at that time. I guess it depends on your definition of fun and how it relates to your current morale (let's call that the fun to morale ratio effect).

Anyhoo, on my current team, they really know how to do morale events. I already told you about the whale watching excursion. It was more fun than I had even expected. This Friday we have another morale event and when they told us what it was I was again pleasantly surprised (I promise to never doubt our morale committee). We are going to a place called Cuizam Cook and Carry Cuisine in Kirkland and we are having a cooking instruction day. We are there from morning through afternoon, so I am hoping some wine is involved (otherwise, there's some whine involved...not really, just kidding). I'll let you know how it is. I'm really looking forward to it.

Other fun morale events that I have had at Microsoft: Whirlyball (not that I am competitive or anything), Mariners game, wine tasting class and cooking day at Microsoft's catering facilities (I think similar to what we are doing Friday but it was when I was on a different team).

Comments (11)

  1. Andy says:

    We get forced to go bowling. That’s all we ever do for morale events. Go bowling and eat pizza. I don’t care for bowling although I’ve become somewhat proficiant at it since I started at my current employer. The pizza is bowling alley pizza which means it’s much better if you are drinking. However we can’t drink because we are technically on the clock even us salary people. So I have taken to shooting embarassing photos of people in dorky poses while bowling and posting them on the internal web site with funny captions.

    Your morale days sound a bit more fun but they still remind me to much of high-school spirit days. High-school was a long time ago. Want me to be happy, pay me more. Don’t make me go on field trips.

  2. Heather says:

    Andy-it’s a whole different story if they let you have the beer. We did the bowling/greasy pizzas thing once but ours game with the beer and that made all the difference ; )

  3. Manish says:

    Which cooking are you going to learn? Is it Indian?

  4. Heather says:

    Manish-I have no idea…I hope it’s Indian. Nothing would make me happier than making a little chicken tikka, sag puneer and golub jamen…I’m sure I spelled some of those wrong…they are much more fun to eat than spell 😉

  5. patblue says:

    We just had a bowling morale event which was actually very fun. I bowled my best game ever at 125…which I know isn’t much, but better than my usual 55/60. My attention span (which is that of a gnat) only will allow one game set. I came up with another cool event for next time as they played that song URGENT (emergency) I can’t recall the artist, but the thought of roller skating at the ol’ Skate King in Bellevue jumped into my mind….now THAT would be something to take pictures of..The cooking events are fun, I went to one on Eastlake…don’t fret Heather, there will be plenty of wine.

  6. You would be surprised how many groups do not even try to do morale events. There are so many excuses: no money, people have families so going out after work will not be good, people in the group cannot agree on what to do. To tell the truth, I have not had a good morale event that a boss took upon himself in years (I have done quite a bit of work as a independant consultant in the last 8 years). The excuses for taking a day and doing anything other than work is numerous, too numerous to go through here. I have tried to do fun morale building events as a coworker with minimal success. I have tried having my groups come to my house for cookouts. Only the events where the boss was going to attend were the events that coworkers attend. I guess it all is the right balance.

    The bottom line is that most companies do not do these events. They do work. I had a boss that a few times a month would walk into the office and take everyone to the movies and pay for everything. But that is a LEADER and those are on the endangered species list currently.

    Heather — Have fun and recharge. I miss the microbeers in Seattle myself. There was a bar in Kirland that had so many beers on tap I never got through all of them before I left the area.

  7. Pat — I think Foreigner sings Urgent.

  8. daryllmc says:

    Our group just did a cooking morale event at Blue Ribbon in Seattle and it was phenomenal. I would never have guessed that cooking could do so much to bring a team together.

  9. Heather says:

    Ah, Foreigner…one of the greatest bands of the 70s/80s…they sing my favorite slow song of all time (feel free to try and guess).

    So our morale event was awesome. First we showed up and we sat around and drank coffee and ate homemade croissants (like buttah!). Then we each received a monogrammed (we not initials, our first names) apron from Williams Sonoma (swag I will actually use…sweet!) Then we made croissants (they did the hard part). Then we made lunch. I worked on the bread pudding (right up my alley…grandpa Hamilton would be proud). There was some interesting instruction (though the chefs took everything so seriously and used a ton of butter in everything). We sat around afterward and ate the food. It was just fun to get to know co-workers better and have some good food. Plus I love cooking so much that I may have picked up a few new techniques. ; )

    I was waiting for someone to realize they had lost a ring part way through lunch. Anyway, definitely a great time and I would recommend it.

  10. Patblue says:

    Hmmm, Waiting for a Girl Like you????? I was more into Olivia Newton John, You have to believe we are Magic….nothing can stand in our way.

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