By Ali Simmons — May 15, 2019 11:00 AM
Recently, the Hannon Hill team ventured into the wilderness for an afternoon of team building at Cochran Shoals, a national park on the Chattahoochee River. A local startup, Vestigo, led our adventure and personalized programming to incorporate our values.
We chose the activities intentionally, aiming for mindfulness, vulnerability, and bonding between team members that don’t typically work closely together. To achieve our team building goals, Vestigo split us into groups to complete a mindfulness walk with meditative self-reflection and a higher-energy, rappel and belay trust exercise. Luckily, the weather on this day was perfect, so we didn’t have to focus on our team building in the face of torrential rain or Georgia heat.
On the walk, we talked about our awareness in the outdoors and how that played a role in our lives, especially in regards to our work in a distracting office and online environment. While some on our team have practiced intentional mindfulness before, the activity was new to others and provided insight into peoples’ individual experiences. We were all tasked with narrowing down several challenges to one actionable takeaway that we could put to use.
During the rappel, all employees had the option to do the rappel, support an employee in a fireman’s belay, or both. Beforehand, our Vestigo guides asked all of us to share the scariest thing we’ve done recently and how we felt afterwards. Our employee stories varied from serious health scares to international travel to being more emotionally aware. After sharing, we had the opportunity to climb off of a literal cliff -- twice. On the other end of the rope was another employee, ready to step in if their teammate needed them.
The day was full of surprises, new experiences, and learning for the entire team. Having the opportunity to be out in a strange environment and trying something scary as a team was a refreshing change from our typical in office and online interactions. It was a fantastic opportunity to represent two of our favorite values, trust and agility, and was a great precursor to the next challenge we faced: Ship It Day!