Running a company with 5 different locations in 4 countries has its challenges, one of these, is ensuring the locations continue to feel like one company. To overcome the feeling of separateness, EMPAUA organises yearly events for the whole company: The EMPAUA Summit.Through a quick survey, we found out that most people wanted somewhere hot and with a beach, so we chose a small little fishing town called Arenys de Mar next to Barcelona as our summit base camp. We found a nice mansion for 35 people with a big pool, ping pong table, volleyball field and loads of other activities, including huge fridges to keep the drinks cold!
Biggest takeaway for us as the organizing committee: Never schedule the party for the second day. Our plan was to start smooth into the weekend with a little get together on Friday having employee workshops the next morning. Nice plan but very unrealistic. Everyone was so happy to see each other that we finally had two parties and not so many workshops the next day. Luckily we are an agile company ;-) I would love to tell you more about these nights but we all agreed: what happened at the Summit stays at the Summit.One of the biggest delights of the weekend was seeing how everyone interacted as friends instantly. Culture is at the heart of EMPAUA as a company, and it was amazing to see our hiring policies had truly paid off. A lot of people that had never met, apart from over Google Hangouts, were interacting like they were lifelong friends.
On Saturday afternoon we travelled to the next village for an afternoon of activities. Everyone could choose from Paint balling, Chinese Adventure Course or Bubble Football. Here we could really let off some steam and act like kids at a birthday party. It was important that we had this opportunity to relax and feel like we were spending time with old friends, instead of being part of a company event.
After the experiences with our off side team event in Barcelona we all agree that there is no better way to overcome the feeling of separateness than sharing the same good memories. Today we have a stronger connection to each other, a better understanding for the different opinions and a whole bunch of new friends across Europe.These are just a small overview of opinions we collected after the event, but it you just shows you how one event can have a huge impact on company culture.
"More than words or shared thoughts, these kind of events create strong feelings of a global family.“
"I loved the event, I simply love EMPAUA and all PAUA-people, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished yet and what we will in the future. I could not be happier.“
"We are great team! And I'm grateful for knowing that we are aligning in creating a new and better world.“
"Wholeness, greatness, awesomeness - feeling blessed to be part of this company"