Imagine a corporate retreat for more than 175 bankers. Are you picturing spreadsheets and various financial reports? Sadly, there are some corporate retreats that aren’t any different from a typical business meeting. However, the leadership at Old National Bank put together a retreat that was inspirational, energizing, and above all else fun…of course, fun had to be a component since Playworks was one of the facilitators.
On Wednesday, November 29, 2023, Playworks Illinois and Playworks Indiana facilitated a Corporate Recess with the overall theme of inclusive leadership for Old National Bank’s senior leadership team. Individuals came from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky to build a sense of belonging, to boost employee engagement, and to strengthen the leadership team dynamic. Playworks focused on the top three of the five retreat priority areas:
- Think strategically
- Drive accountability
- Motivate and inspire others through communication
- Positively leading change
- Managing conflict and addressing performance concerns
The organizers didn’t want participants to just sit in a room where a single individual is presenting, instead, they wanted every individual participating in an activity that drives home each of the three priority areas. And, they wanted to infuse PLAY into it. This is where Playworks came in.
Over the course of an hour, we had bankers playing games and having fun! We started with the entire group (over 175 of them), playing Partner to Partner. This was a great intro activity to get everyone ready to play in a variety of forms while increasing their social comfort. We asked the group to sing, “Mingle, Mingle, Mingle” as they walked around the ballroom in a conga line fashion. Almost immediately, I noticed smiling faces and individuals ready to support one another with high fives!
Once the group was warmed up, we played one more large group game, Line of Silence, before splitting up into our five breakout groups. Each breakout session played 2-3 games that focused on team building, strategic thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. I was able to observe each group and it was interesting to see how each team (department) played into their strengths to work together. My favorite part was seeing that “Ah ha” moment when the participants connected the dots on how these games connected back to the retreat’s focus areas.
We concluded the Recess back in the ballroom with Roshambo Rockstar, a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. It definitely got loud as everyone was cheering on their teammates!
Schools have recess because it is important for students to take a break from their work. Recess allows students to reset and recess that incorporates play allows students to be physically active, creative, and social. But recess isn’t just for kids. Adults who take time to take a break end up being more productive and innovative than those who don’t.
I am honored that Playworks was able to provide the senior leaders of Old National Bank with the opportunity to play. I know that it was energizing for both me and the Playworks team. It was powerful to facilitate an active-team building workshop that improves employee engagement and feelings of connection through play. And I hope that every single person who participated will make it a priority to incorporate “recess” into their day.
If your company would like to host your own Playworks Corporate Recess, please reach out to Charmaine Torma, Development Director, at email@example.com