JOHN GLOVER: Hello and welcome to another Pendragon Straight Talk. Now this week’s quite an interesting one, basically someone has asked me how, how do I get my integrated generations and cultures working together. Some people might call this intergenerational workforce, but basically how do you get the team from different ages and cultures working together as one, which can actually be quite good fun, we tend to do some fun stuff.
One of the things we tend to do is organise events. We definitely go bowling or do a bit of white water rafting, we do something with the team. Not everybody wants to do it, so we don’t force people to do it, but we do that so there is a bit of a bonding thing going on.
Then we look at TV shows, what TV shows everybody is watching and, dare I say, we even bring in The Bachelor or Survivor and then we have a little bit of a tipping competition or a sweepstake as to who is likely to win, so there is a bit of a conversation on a weekly basis about those shows, even if some people don’t necessarily watch them that much they still take an interest.
Sport, sport is a fantastic one. If anyone plays sport, if anyone is involved in sport what we tend to do is say ok let’s follow your sport, how did you get on this weekend, how did the day get on, baseball, netball, basketball, whatever it might be, so we’ll follow the teams. And it may be that their children play sport, it may be that they are just interested in sport, so it doesn’t mean to say that they actually physically play it. We’ve also run over the last couple of years a full netball tipping competition in the office, which has introduced me and a lot of us into the netball world, and its been quite good fun actually and we would pick our teams each week and who’s going to beat who and it’s good fun.
Try to get some common ground really is what we are trying to say.
Trying to get everybody in the team have some kind of common ground, so if we have got to create that, then fine, we will create that.
Food, food is a wonderful thing to do. We’ve often had one or two of our cultures, which includes the Irish and the Scottish, coming in here with their traditional foods and we’ve all had some of that for lunch and that’s a fantastic thing and you’re getting fed, but it’s a good ice breaker and a team building time over lunch and we talk about the food.
We have also digital radio we play in the background. This is a cracker because what you can do with a digital radio is you can zoom into anywhere in the world, so wherever you come from in the world, if you’ve got a particular radio station you’ve been following, we then to zoom into that and we listen to their radio station, their old local radio station and so it’s funny, you get the accents and you get the nuances and the different tunes.
The other thing we do is ask open and honest questions to one another around our cultures. We want to know why certain people do different things and why they celebrate and how they celebrate and its very educational and its fun and as long as you do it in an open and honest way its great. I mean for instance, why do we, or why do some people, eat fish on a Friday? Is that a religion thing? It most probably was a religious thing to start with, is it still a religious thing? Or is it just a habit now or is it just that fish was cheaper at one time?
We also listen to some of our phrases and words that we use and then we get them translated, which sounds funny, which is fun and also once again, educational. This is also a generational thing, because obviously if you’re older and you’re using words that we used in my generation, it doesn’t always make any sense to the youngsters and vice versa. Another thing is that I come from London, so a lot of the time my Cockney sayings need to be translated for the office and we also have a Scottish lady here who uses the odd word and we have to go woah what does that mean.
Look at ways to engage your team with fun, not just for business purposes. That’s the main thing, you’ve got to have some fun.
We tend to want to have a laugh and to have a smile in the office and obviously if we smile and have a laugh, then people are enjoying being at work hopefully and also our customers benefit because we obviously give that smile and laugh to them and look after them nicely.
I hope that helps, thanks for listening and I look forward to talking to you next week.
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