Early this year, we decided we want to do something a little different – find a way to further inspire our staff (including managers) to be even more productive and efficient while still producing a quality product and providing excellent customer service.  But how to do that in a way that was also fun and challenging?

The solution? A quarterly challenge competition between three groups (including managers and staff in each group) – manufacturing, manufacturing support (such as shipping and receiving), and sales/sales support. Two goals were set for each group, with the goals tailored to each specific group. The team who met their goals the most times by the end of twelve weeks would win a catered lunch in which the other two teams would serve them in style.  Also added was the Rock Star Award, in which the management team select from a group of nominees one staff member who went “above and beyond” their regular job duties in order to help the company, its customers, or their co-workers.

We just completed the first quarter, and the winners were (drum roll, please) – Manufacturing! In twelve weeks, they only missed a single goal during one week! And so, this past Thursday, we celebrated their success with an Italian lunch of Caesar Salad, Chicken Parmigiana, pasta, and bread, along with sodas and yummy Italian desserts (Tiramisu and Cannoli).

Challenge 1 Food Table

Setting up the food table

All manufacturing support and sales/sales support staff gathered in the warehouse at 12:30 pm to set up for the lunch. A long sewing table was transformed with tablecloths and flowers into a dramatic dining table large enough to seat the entire company. Food was arranged in a serving pass in the back of the warehouse. At 1pm, the manufacturing staff was invited to take a seat at the table to be served in style. Some of us plated the food, while others took on the role of servers.

Challenge 1 Servers

Servers get plates of food to serve to manufacturing staff

Once all the manufacturing staff had been served, the rest of us served ourselves and sat down at the table to join them for lunch.  Also joining us for lunch was Randy McKinley from CMTC, who helped inspire all the amazing changes and improvements that we have been working on since Fall 2013.

Challenge 1 Serving Mfg Staff

Manufacturing staff is served!

After lunch, we had speeches congratulating the winning team, encouraging the other teams in the next quarter, telling about our first Beach Clean Up event, and presenting the Rock Star Award to Chris Greenhaw, our Receiving Coordinator.

Challenge 1 Speech

Speech! Speech!

All in all, it was a fantastic event and a fantastic first Quarterly Challenge. Everyone was so excited and invigorated by the challenge and by the luncheon event. I can’t wait to see which team wins this quarter’s challenge!