Although it hardly needs help, the Pacific Beach neighborhood in San Diego was made a little more lively than usual last week. That’s because the PINT team planned a surprise prank for our VP and General Manager that involved everybody pitching in and keeping a secret.
PINT’s VP and General Manager Eric Samuelson recently oversaw a stylish renovation of the third floor in our office. Our CEO, Thomas Powell, asked us to plan a surprise to say “thanks.”
We went through a few ideas before settling on two activities:
- Wearing shirts and ties on casual Friday, since Eric is one of the fanciest dressers in the office during the week
- Filling his office with balloons
Then we got to work.
Team Building in a Tie
On the day of the prank we piqued Eric’s curiosity when everyone showed up to PINT HQ in Pacific Beach wearing a tucked in shirt and a tie. But the shared uniform also bonded us together to pull off our cooperative caper.
Bring on the Balloons
Around lunch time, we sprang into action. Thomas lured Eric out of his office for a lunch meeting, and we called an all-hands meeting. We provided sandwiches to fuel the balloon inflating efforts. And everyone helped in different ways:
- Running the air compressor
- Tying balloons
- Filling the office space
- Blowing up balloons
- Cleaning up
We worked in shifts to ensure client work requests received attention as they arrived.
Team Building can be Fun
After about 90 minutes, the room was full of balloons and Eric and Thomas were back at the office. Everyone hid nearby to witness the surprise.And sure enough, the shouts of surprise were genuine. They came from the heart, because everyone had pitched in. We had pulled off a complex project as a team without even realizing it. Like a great website redesign, the prank was delivered on time, within budget, and exceeded the client’s expectations.
We also used the opportunity to sneak in a small thanks to our CEO, Thomas Powell (TAP). We gave him a giant “kudos.”
What Works for You?
An office prank was just right for our team to try working together in a new way. What sort of team building activities do you find most effective? Tell us about them in the comments section below.