Creative work, house, and team building @sofatutor
As Berlin finally showed its friendly spring face at the end of April, our team was drawn in the fresh air. Work and laptops stayed on our desks, and we spent the day outside the office.
The People & Culture Team came together as an almost completely newly formed team this year, therefore our team building day essentially was our team kick-off. Team building, knowing each other, and collaborating smoothly are essential to successful teamwork, so we took a day away from work to be able to support our sofatutor teams successfully in the long term.
Especially in hybrid work times building a team can be challenging but therefore even more relevant as the personal connections do not arise as easily in a hybrid/ remote work environment as in a live in-person setting. One interesting learning, beyond the content of the day, for all of us was: Meeting and socializing in person for a whole day can be a bit overwhelming after a longer period of calm and solitude at the home office. So it is important to appreciate that this will be an unusual experience for some and factor it into the planning of the day.
Our team members joined the event from Dresden, Nuremberg, Spain, and Berlin, starting the day off with a morning coffee in a rented work loft in Berlin-Wedding and an online chat with our CEO & Founder Stephan, who shared some words of appreciation as well as his vision with us for the People & Culture work of the future.
Iva, Samira, and Rahel organized a ’Never Have I Ever’-Bingo, where we got to know each other. While some of us met for the first time in person, others learned suspicious facts about colleagues who sat next to us in the office a couple of times. Gladly, because we needed team knowledge to solve the big challenge of the morning. Plus a good portion of creativity … :)
“Let’s build the People and Culture team house together!”
Each subteam had to figure out what role they play in the success of the People & Culture Team. Symbolically choosing which room it would form in a shared People & Culture house and what furniture and essentials one could find inside. Rita, our Head, walked around and consulted with the subteams Employee Experience, Talent Acquisition, and People Business Partners to philosophize about who might be neighboring rooms and visitors to their space and what they stand for in our bigger Team House structure. The next big challenge however was to visualize our ideas by drawing our room with everything in it. The artistic outcome of this team-building task is pictured below. For those of you who struggle with a clear interpretation this is a small explanation:
As the foundation of our house, Team Employee Experience formed the souterrain, in which all essentials can be found to meet our basic needs and individual wishes. In the garden and entrance hall, every (new) visitor gets warmly welcomed by Team Talent Acquisition and accompanied to the individual People Business partners. They located themselves in a big Launching Room, connecting the individual sofatutor-apartments and hosting amenities of all the sofatutor teams they are supporting as Business Partners. Finally, Rita, the Head of the People & Culture Team, embodies the empowering and protective roof of the house.
Seeing how our subteams view their place in the People & Culture house and their role in the overall People & Culture team helped to understand how we interface and connect to each other with the missions and goals of the subteams to form a smooth team and solid house.
After having lunch, we spent the afternoon on a Schnitzeljagd (scavenger hunt), hunting for different challenges in our subteams all over Berlin-Mitte. After making quite some miles we sat down for some Berliner Weiße, food, and chats to round off the day. We returned to work the next day with tired legs but refreshed minds from working together in different and new settings :)