When two departments get together for a semiannual meeting, there’s bound to be a lot of socializing. After all, these colleagues don’t get to see each other often. However, when unified by a common call to help America’s veterans, these 50 mid-career professionals put small talk aside to assemble wheelchairs for Vietnam Veterans of America.
Making the Most of a Company Meeting
It was a gorgeous day at Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, AZ. Sanofi Genzyme’s team meetings were well underway when we arrived. The WheelCharity™ workshop capped a day of meetings, so folks were pretty much ready to socialize before dinner. This was a great opportunity for people from two departments to mix it up and carry out a hands-on project. They could really complement each others’ strengths and abilities.
WheelCharity™ in Scottsdale, AZ
We met the group on-site at the hotel, which was convenient for participants. The ballroom we’d reserved allowed plenty of room. Company organizers had already assigned employees to one of several teams. Each team was a mix of the members from the participating departments.
Sanofi Genzyme has a long track record of corporate social responsibility, both materially and financially. This WheelCharity™ workshop fit in very well with their previous efforts. This particular division was interested in assisting folks with mobility issues. The wheelchairs they assembled would go directly to American veterans of the Vietnam War.
Over the span of 90 minutes, teams raced through a series of challenges that put their creativity, problem solving, and communication skills to the test. What seemed like fun challenges were designed to develop transferable skills that would benefit folks even after they returned to the office. Seeing measurable results of their activities as wheelchairs reached various stages of completion definitely pushed people to succeed. Based on the number of wheelchairs completed, helping local vets was a powerful motivator.
Helping Local Vets Get Around Independently
When two officers from the Arizona Vietnam Veterans of America arrived, they were clearly moved by the number of wheelchairs donated. Eugene Crego told the group how mobility was a serious issue for many veterans, and that so often, access to wheelchairs was limited. A donation such as this one would help many of America’s forgotten Vietnam veterans, he said. The handwritten notes of motivation and good wishes attached to each wheelchair would be welcomed and much appreciated, he assured us. All of the participants gave the men a standing ovation. It was great to see how much good could be achieved in such a short amount of time, given how well everyone worked together that day.