At Rencore, we work when we work and we play when we play! And we do it right!
Rencore celebrated its 10th birthday in July this year and our 50-member team gathered at our headquarters in Munich to celebrate and how!
What transpired in a decade and how did Rencore become Team Awesome? Read all about the company’s milestones, achievements and turning points in our retrospective blog. This blog, however, is one that gives you a sneak peek into the team-building activities at the company; those events that literally take us out of our comfort zones, but ultimately, strengthens our CORRECT values – Communication, Openness, Respect, Reflect, Empower, Courage and Trust.
While we do love to organize department meet-ups every now and then and bring together our mostly-remote team under one roof, the anniversary of the company – that we all love to work at – calls for a special gathering. For our teams, this one has already become the highlight event of this year!
Read along to get a sneak-peak into life at Rencore to know what we do while we are not busy working on our product.
Get ready, onwards to Munich!
We at Rencore help organizations stay in control of their Microsoft 365 environment. And while we do that, we make sure that we don’t overlook our team and always remember to have some fun.
The anniversary week started off with a lot of excitement. Our event managers Christine Hartl and Joanna Wyka had already sent out itineraries to all the team members, so we knew exactly what to pack. Almost. That was a rather confusing week for Germany in terms of weather, so some of our suitcases may have looked like we weren’t exactly going on a summer trip.
We did start the trip with some cancellations and prolonged delays but made it to Munich safe and sound!
Choosing the right location and team-building activity for the entire day was no easy task for our event managers. From accommodating food preferences to people’s likes and dislikes about the degree of sportiness needed to make it through the day, the planning excel sheet would have been extensive! After all, picking the right activity is important to ensure equal participation.
Staying true to the company’s roots in Munich, our event managers picked the loveliest location to host our team-building activity – Lake Starnberg, a short bus ride from the city. I’ll admit this bus ride did bring back some memories from school trips.
What added to the excitement for the day was also the fact that none of the team members except for the organizers knew what exactly the team-building activity would be. Would it be a 20 km hike around the lake? Would it be a treasure hunt or perhaps a murder mystery we’ll have to solve? Our only clue: the activity involved – in parts at least – some contact with water.
Although the weather tried to play spoilsports in the beginning, it only lasted a couple of hours. The skies cleared up soon enough, bringing in the much-needed warmth and vitamin D. Soon, sunscreens and sunglasses were out and about!
Planks and ropes to rafts and more
So, what exactly would be team building activity be? The mystery ended when we got to the lakeside and were welcomed by wooden planks, ropes and floating tubes. It was amazing to see what would happen when you gave a bunch of people some wooden planks and ropes and a couple of hours. In our case, our team members fell back on their cutting-edge strategical thinking and problem-solving mindsets to build rafts…from scratch.
The members were divided into 5 teams, who then came up with some innovative team names for themselves –
Sea Eagles or Seagles
Flying Saucers or the misinterpreted Floating Sausages
From designing the raft, to choosing which materials to use to actually putting them together and painting the team flags and some healthy dose of trash-talking, all kinds of skills were put to use. Original theories and plans had to be amended, new ways put to test, and multiple rounds of brainstorming – all to keep the rafts stable and floating!
Water tested and approved, captain!
How do you know you’ve built something sturdy and reliable? When the people who built it want to test-drive it. After duly christening the rafts, it was time for the ultimate test to unfold, and how it did! No, we didn’t just build rafts (and decorated it – special shoutout to the banana hanging from the flag mast of one of the teams) to keep them on the shore. We got on them and had the most amazing raft race.
As the five teams raced their hand-made rafts, cheers rose from the sidelines fuelling the competition fire.
Some may argue that there was only one winner, but let’s face it – we all were. Okay, that sounded cheeky even to this writer, so allow me to retract that statement. There was only one clear winner – Team Redcore!
But also, there’s a twist. Not only were the teams evaluated based on their performance in the race, but also on the design of the raft and a presentation of their team concept. And kids, that’s the story of how despite winning the race, team Redcore lost first place to team GDP ARRR! Who eventually took the certificate, chocolates and champagne home.
Bonding over your secrets and theirs
Getting to better know the people you work with every single day is no doubt an exciting process, but one that also takes a long time. Not when you have activities like we do at Rencore though. Such activities accelerate the process of getting to know your colleagues manifold! Don’t trust me?
Let me get you in on some details from the game.
Try playing a game where you guess your colleagues’ secrets (those that they willingly disclose, of course). That should do it.
Now we know the colleague who has been in a music video, the one who was once on the news for sighting a UFO, the colleague who attended a Take That concert, and the colleague who almost became a pilot. From hobbies to all the little quirks, this game gave us some great insights into the lives of our fellow colleagues, before they joined Rencore. We saw new shades of our colleagues when they’re not at their desks, immersed in work.
Wind down and dinner by the lake
Lake Starnberg is truly one of the most beautiful lakes in the region. After a full day of intense activities that also included dismantling the rafts we build, we were glad to finally wind down at a lakeside restaurant over dinner and drinks.
How Team Awesome is made
Our founders have always insisted on a positive and open company culture, where our team members are heard and feel part of the company. Even with the remote work set-up, at a department level, our teams make it a point to meet at least once a quarter.
Rencore is growing and our founders are sure about the fact that with this growth, no compromise shall be made on our values. The team building activities, therefore, were much more than just a day of fun and games. It was an investment in our people, their happiness, and their ability to work towards common objectives. Beyond the thrill of raft building and racing, the day brought our team closer, creating an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and enthusiasm that is invaluable for our continued growth and success.
The memories made during this day will serve as a reminder that strong teams are built on shared experiences, collaborative efforts, and a willingness to go the extra mile – together. As we return to our everyday work lives, we carry with us the essence of this day – today and every day.