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corporate games

The #BGExFEARience – Halloween at BlueGrace Logistics

In the corporate world, I have worked through many Halloween festivities:

Plastic pumpkins and spider webs on top of desks;

“No lights! It’s a fire hazard.”

“Nothing hanging above the cubicles! It’s a major distraction.”

A ‘Beware’ sign or two on the hallway along with celebratory cake covered with bright orange frosting and a handful of people who were brave enough to dress up in costume; it was predictable.

And then I started working at BlueGrace.

Halloween decorations at BlueGrace Logistics - BlueGrace is one of the best places to work in Tampa Bay and a Franchise 500 franchise!
Halloween Decorations at BlueGrace Logistics consists of life size skeletons and monsters

The idea of “Halloween at work” has now completely changed and transformed into a monster, and I mean that in an almost literal way (there’s a dead body inside of a coffin staring at me as I write this.)

“Where else can you make a grown man scream like a baby girl other than BlueGrace?” says BlueGrace Scare Master and Partner Invoicing Team Lead, Keith Gineo.

What was once predictable is now completely new and exciting!

Cubicles are decorated with spider webs from floor to ceiling, body parts hanging throughout the office, blood splattered in the break room…and best of all? Halloween is still 2 weeks away! Every day I arrive at work to a new surprise and everyone is thrilled about our biggest “employee appreciation day” of the year!

“I’m looking forward to the unexpected.  I’ve heard a lot of hype about BooGrace and how crazy it is, but I don’t know exactly what that means.  I’m pretty sure the costumes and decorations won’t disappoint, and I’m confident the accounting team will complete the 3-peat after winning the best decorated department again!!!” says Partner Invoicing Specialist, David Daniels.

By the 31st we will have a haunted house in the middle of the office, and dressing up in costumes is not just advised, but mandatory. Cake? Well, I’m not sure if there will be cake, but Happy Hour starts at 3PM and to me that’s completely out of my “Halloween at work” expectation.

“Everyone always has an awesome participation and the BG experience that we all share is amazing. We have many interesting events such as Spook Your Space, Trick Out Your Treats, Pick Your Poison, and Pimp Your Pumpkin, which the pumpkins are provided by the Human Society of Tampa Bay. This year will especially be memorable because I will be able to bring my daughter to work for trick-or-treating. A festivity myself, my co-workers and now my daughter wait for every year,” says Partner Invoicing Specialist, Dom Cipriani.

Halloween decorations at BlueGrace Logistics - BlueGrace is one of the best places to work in Tampa Bay and a Franchise 500 franchise!
BlueGrace is often listed as one of the best places to work!
BlueGrace Logistics - Franchise 500 | Best Places to Work | Inc 5000 | Top Franchises
Blue Grace has one of the most profitable franchise systems. The franchisees are encouraged to participate and replicate the headquarter’s festivities!
BlueGrace Logistics - Franchise 500 | Best Places to Work | Inc 5000 | Top Franchises
Welcome to BlueGrace!
BlueGrace Logistics - Franchise 500 | Best Places to Work | Inc 5000 | Top Franchises
The Halloween spirit at BlueGrace is infectious!

 

It’s easy to see why BlueGrace is so successful. The employees love what they do because they work in a place they love. They work hard because they’re allowed to enjoy being at work, making every day simply unpredictable!

Thanks to BlueGrace Logistics’ Partner Invoicing Team for sharing their #BGExFEARience:

BlueGrace is one of the best places to work in Tampa Bay and a Franchise 500 franchise system!
Keith Gineo, in full Halloween mode!
Halloween decorations at BlueGrace Logistics - BlueGrace is one of the best places to work in Tampa Bay and a Franchise 500 franchise system!
David Daniels
BlueGrace is one of the best places to work in Tampa Bay and a Franchise 500 franchise system!
Dom Cipriani

SportsFest Teaches Lessons in Teamwork

Where’s one place you can catch employees and executives battling side-by-side in the sandy trenches of a beautiful Florida beach? Why America II Corporate SportsFest of course!

Once a year 150+ companies from across Tampa Bay compete for the esteemed title of SportsFest Champions… a position that we at BlueGrace® Logistics do not take lightly. This year brought our 3rd go-round at the event and our team of 41 players was pumped full of excitement and eager to compete! Never before have you seen such camaraderie covered in tanning oil; just bring your team spirit and game-face… no athletic skills necessary!

With five events to participate in, co-workers certainly get a chance to bond. Considering our staff has nearly doubled in size since last year’s fest, it was a perfect opportunity to get to know some of the new faces. Heather Anderson, our Culture Coordinator and Team Captain raves how beneficial the games are for team building,

A lot of our employees are die hard competitors, so it’s nice to have to depend on each other to beat the other teams.

Mudwars 2011 St. Petersburg, FL
BlueGrace team demonstrates what they're made of at Mudwars 2011.

Though BlueGrace employees make it look easy to function as team in the workplace, it does not happen automatically. Ideas for team building activities come from all employees and are supported by the leadership staff. BlueGrace schedules group activities including company softball and bowling league, Mudwars, and monthly themed office days such as barbeques, potlucks, corn hole tournaments, and #FreeBeerFriday (after 4pm). Each event allows employees to engage with one another to build stronger relationships and contribute more effectively in a team environment. In 2011 and 2012, BlueGrace Logistics was honored to be recognized as a Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work finalist.

Effective teamwork can yield incredible results, in the sand or the workplace. Listed below are just some reasons to participate in team-building activities within your company:

  • Creates unity where everyone is focused on a common goal
  • Encourages employees take ownership in the company’s success
  • Keeps everyone on a level playing field promoting a leaner business model
  • Increases the ability to adapt by fostering flexibility
  • Boosts morale by encouraging achievement

Though we didn’t come home with a win from SportsFest, we consistently win at providing the best service to our customers thanks to our stellar employees and impeccable teamwork. Babe Ruth said it best,

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

To join our team of MVPs, contact our recruiting team via email or follow them on Twitter @BGCareers to learn more about career opportunities. Did you participate in SportsFest this year? Does your company conduct regular team building activities? Tell us about it!

 

-Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Twitter: @BG_JennyD 

You Play to Win the Game

Not too long ago, a disgruntled job candidate sent me an antagonizing email upon learning he would not be offered a position. He closed by saying “…did you really say kickball during our interview?!  Was that part of the “process” – to see if the candidate can keep from laughing at you?  (Make sure you have all of the parental consent forms signed before your next game.)” Now the “parental consent forms” part was a little funny, but the rest clearly showed me that I was right in assessing this person could not fit into our corporate culture. Yes, we have a company Kickball team. In fact, our first season was so successful, that this season we will have two teams. Yes, we competed in America II’s Corporate Sportsfest. Yes, we are having a company Cornhole tournament on our operations floor with our BlueGrace branded Cornhole set. Yes, we competed in Tampa Bay Club Sports Mud Wars. Yes, we even had an exhibition game versus the nationally ranked Tampa Rays wheelchair softball team – and lost horrendously. We play together, we celebrate together, we workout together, travel together, enjoy each other’s families together. Our victories are sweeter and defeats softened because we did them together. Most of all, we work together.

Our kickball season was not successful because of our finish. We took second place only to lose in the first round of the playoffs. What you did get was customer service and sales cheering each other on; executive assistant’s ordering VP’s into their fielding positions; a competitive spirit many people didn’t know they had. My only regret was that we failed to come up with a team name more creative than BlueGrace Logistics. Being in transportation, perhaps the “mudder truckers” would have turned more heads.

Corporate culture can define an organization. In transportation and logistics, you live your life dealing with the intangibles. Some cultures may consider all of the things we do as distractions. I find each and every day that the productivity you get from loyal people who truly believe what you believe will always outperform any environment focused strictly on the numbers and daily tasks. Every late LTL shipment is an emergency! Every truckload quote has to be the lowest! Every customer service call needs to be handled as the most important, and yesterday! New customers need to begin shipping freight today! Under the wrong setting, these conditions could create a very stressful and counterproductive environment. I’ve always understood “logistics” to mean a process. The logistics of our organization, on our worst days, are fluid and efficient because we play together. In this culture everyone can share the same vision. Everyone acts to accomplish the same mission. Disputes are resolved quicker. Negative attitudes are left at the door and the competitive drive to WIN takes over. Everyone is built to serve each other.

Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development
Follow us @theBGexperience