Excellence Starts Here

By on Oct 29, 2018 in People

Every year, the Atlanta Senior Committee, a team of senior account managers, facilitates Customer Service Week for the regional Yardi office. This year, activities included outrageous games and fun educational sessions that demonstrated the theme “Excellence Starts Here.”

The Balance Sheet sat down with three committee members to celebrate the week’s victories.

Unity, Learning, Fun

Each October, Yardi joins numerous organizations throughout the nation in observance of Customer Service Week. Stephanie Mayes, senior technical account manager for Consulting Practices, explains, “Customer Service Week is an opportunity to improve a company’s teamwork and customer service skills sets.”

Team lead Johnathan Atkins adds, “At Yardi, it’s a week of fun. It’s all about putting people in uncomfortable situations and watching them grow. They become more comfortable with concepts and one another with every activity. They’re ready for whatever the work day throws at them.”

Customer Service Week events activities included continuing education and team building games.

Learning Through Play at All Ages

While the eLearning classes were a success (and can be accessed by employees via eLearning) the games proved to be the department’s favorite.

For games, the Senior Committee randomly split employees into 20 teams of about 12 people. Atkins smiles, “If we let them pick their teams, they’d stick with their friends. This was a good chance for them to branch out, meet others that work around them and build rapport.”

The teams were immediately put to the test. They created unique team names and identified three things that everyone in the group had in common. Atkins says, “It’s surprisingly hard to find three things that 12 or 13 people have in common. It gives the new teams something to discuss and find common ground.”

For the rest of the week, people who barely knew one another were encouraged to collaborate through a series of challenges including Head’s Up trivia, The Spaghetti Build Off, and Golf Ball Pass.

Teams loved the Spaghetti Build Off. “Teams received marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti noodles, and tape,” says Tia Wingster, senior technical account manager. “The challenge was to build the tallest structure they could in 30 minutes. The winning team had a building over 65 inches tall.”

With a laugh Mayes recalls: “It’s funny but, for all of them, the best work occurred in the last minute. They didn’t have time to overthink. It was brilliant.”

Atkins says, “It was a game that brought everyone forward. Quiet people may not speak up during trivia but then they shined during the building activity. There were creative structures with strong bases and cool features.”

Wingster observed a pregnant woman who couldn’t stand, hover, and stoop with team members working on the vertical build. Rather than sitting out, she took a seat and contributed to the construction of the base. “That really stood out to me. It was great to see everyone participating.”

The winners of each game faced off in a final competition: the Golf Ball Pass. Passing a golf ball between 12 people using only a spoon proved to be a daunting feat—especially with 200 people watching.

Atkins grins, “It was so much harder than everyone thought. It required so much patience and a steady hand. The Dynamic Dozen won, receiving $30 gift cards and Yardi merchandise.”

Necessary Playtime

“Customer Service Week is important for employees because it’s a week of camaraderie. We are growing fast and this is a good opportunity to grow as a unit,” says Mayes.

“Customer Service Week contributes to Yardi’s company culture as a whole,” Wingster says, “I’ve had past jobs that didn’t focus on morale and rapport or establishing a community between departments and leadership. What I love about Yardi is that we’re a big family in customer service. We all craft different ideas to build up to excellence. It gives a sense of connectiveness that you may not find elsewhere.”