A year ago, YKK’s North and Central America group introduced 25 Fundamental Behaviors to create a unique corporate culture for its employees to live by. Our Fundamental Behavior #13 is called Be a Team Player, and it states that we should be willing to help a co-worker when that’s what’s required for success.
The following article was written by Mike Cherry with YKK AP America Inc. in Dublin, Georgia. In this article he talks about various outdoor activities that he has implemented to create a team building environment that will help foster communication within his company.
According to Bloomberg, one of the top five reasons businesses fail is because of “a failure to communicate.”
For those of you old enough to remember the classic 1967 Paul Newman movie, “Cool Hand Luke,” a key line spoken in the movie by the prison warden to Newman, who plays the defiant inmate Luke, is “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
The solution is simple. Learn to communicate by using a team building program. Team building happens each day due to projects, meetings, etc., but the problem starts with the goal as the leading outcome, not the path we took to reach it. Each day we interact with our fellow colleagues to have the same daily pleasantries. Then we begin the task at hand and set a project goal date. This is not building a solid foundation for continued growth in communication. So to solve this problem, I planned a team building program that involves a challenging environment, communication and encourages team work to complete. These events/trips are open to all YKK colleagues, and the cost is split among the participants.
Our first trip involved just three people, but has grown to eight. The events in 2017 included hiking/camping the Appalachian trail, kayaking ten miles into the Okefenokee Swamp wilderness and camping, and a Tennessee white water rafting/camping trip. So far for this year, seven participants have gone on a three day camping and fishing trip in central Florida. We also added one new participant to our group on this trip.
These types of group activities are rewarding in terms of building a solid working environment. We also have t-shirts for anyone wanting to join the team. The events have included people from safety, quality, production, scheduling and engineering at YKK AP. Our team currently consists of Derek Bessenbacher, Ben Cheek, Daymon Loyd, Trey Jones, Neal Williams, Logan Moncrief, Mike Cherry and Luke Hardin.
Not only have we created a solid working relationship with each other, but we have also gained new long standing friendships that will last a lifetime. We plan to do a total of six events in 2018.