Benihana’s recent team training activities led to the discovery that leadership goes far beyond the company walls.
Achieving Corporate Excellence Through a Charitable Cause
Corporate leaders and district, regional, and store managers from across the country met at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN for a weeklong leadership retreat. The retreat included a two-hour Bike-a-Thon™ charity event to benefit local children while helping the group to achieve corporate goals of improved communication, collaboration, and teamwork.
The charity aspect created the perfect environment for this group. As everyday leaders, it helped them learn that their skills can serve more than their restaurant guests. After a few warm-up games to help participants get to know each other, they were eager to get started in putting their talents to good use.
Benihana Gives Back to Nashville, TN Children
The team was receptive to the fact that the day’s activity was dual purpose: first, their job was to successfully communicate with each other to accomplish the Bike-a-Thon™ challenge. And second, their actions were to benefit local Nashville children by providing bicycles to those who otherwise may never experience the joys of bike ownership.
This knowledge helped set the tone for the rest of the event, and each team got straight to work. Building a bicycle is a challenge in itself, and requires close attention to detail and communication to ensure every part is correctly placed. This didn’t seem to an issue for this group, despite its large size and lack of familiarity with each other.
The children were excited to receive their new bikes, which helped add to the excitement for the participants. Seeing how their activity benefitted Nashville children helped put into perspective that their leadership skills can be used for more than corporate success.
Wrapping Up a Successful Team Training Day
Given that the group participants came from across the country and shared little else than being employed by Benihana, it was amazing to see each team member working together to complete the Bike-a-Thon™ challenge. One participant thought the program would be perfect for her group back in California. It was a rewarding experience and one whose benefits were felt by both Benihana team members and the Nashville community.