Thursday, April 15, 2010

keeping the team happy

If you are the leader of any group of people it behooves you to keep them happy. Most bosses can do this with monetary incentives, but i work in non-profit education so i have to use pretzels and dinosaurs. On a sunny day last month the whole team packed up into one van and drove to Lititz, PA to visit the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery Located on a quiet street in a lovely little town, my first impression was that this is the kind of place where people sweep the sidewalks. I love that. But immediately my attention was pulled toward the big honking pretzel out front and the burning need i felt to have a team photo with it. [Lindsey, Sam, Amy, Mike, Elise and Megan] After perusing the gift shop and deciding what wares we would be purchasing ( i got a hot soft pretzel and chocolate covered pretzels with peanut butter!), i paid the $3 tour fee and Marianne showed us the historic equipment used to make the dough and the ovens and giant peels then used in the first cooking step for hard pretzels. [they were then sent upstairs to dry and harden for 24 hours] We each had the chance to learn how to roll and twist a pretzel (nice job, Miss Megan) while also learning about the history and symbolism of the pretzel. Though the FDA doesn't allow people to then cook and eat their sample pretzel, we did get a certificate of completion and a fun afternoon spent with each other- it's team building! Another way i try to work on morale is to make work purchases of new equipment as fun as possible. We needed a new remote controlled thing for our show about the scientific method, so why not go with a big dinosaur, especially if he is on sale? Spike the ULTRA Dinosaur needed some assembly after undoing 90000 twist ties to get the pieces out of the box. But once he was charged up it was time to rampage! We may not get paid much, but we get paid to do this. I'm kinda in love with him.

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