When I worked at JD Edwards years ago, we were looking for monthly teambuilding exercises that would help our group of 20 stay focused, and ensure we bonded together. We tried a variety of things, we’d plan and discuss ideas at a weekly meeting, and we would rotate the odd-man-out, the person that had to remain in the office to provide coverage.
One of the choices we made was to attend The Matrix Reloaded on opening morning, catching the first show at a local theater. 18 of us car pooled down there one morning, watched the show, and then enjoyed talking about it the next day.
We were geeks. The Matrix was a popular movie, and seeing the sequel gave us a common bond, a point to touch each other, and a shared experience away from work. You might debate how beneficial this is for a company, but I’d argue that these bonds make it easier for people to do favors for each other, help each other out, and they build morale. All of that should help with retention and productivity.
There’s a chance to do this again for many companies in a little over a month. Star Trek has a new movie coming out on May 8th. While the original series, and even The Next Generation have been abandoned as series, there is still a lot of Star Trek fandom in the geek world.
If you have a team of people, consider scheduling a morning out. Grab that 10am show, treat your IT staff (or as many as possible) and give them a chance to grow tighter together as a team.