We recently hosted a WheelCharity Workshop for Essex Property Trust as part of their continuing quest to increase their level of team engagement. Essex is one of our most loyal and valued clients because they know we do outstanding work. They also know that nothing bolsters team engagement better than charitable giving. Nothing!
Essex Property Trust started out as a small operation in 1971. Today it is a world-class real estate investment trust which, according to the website, “….acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily apartment communities located in supply-constrained markets.”
Energy efficiency, water conservation, and recycling campaigns are basic sustainability goals which are built into their business model. And so it corporate social responsibility. They consider it a part of their commitment to “sustaining” their community. Their ongoing participation in our charitable teambuilding workshops fulfills that mandate.
Team engagement fun
We met 42 Essex team members in San Francisco at the Argonaut Hotel. They were a great group–high energy, enthusiastic. Many of them had worked with us before and were happy to see us again.
Over the course of the afternoon, we guided them through exercises to improve their communications and leadership skills. When they set about constructing 7 wheelchairs, they put those lessons into practical use.
Divided into 6 teams, they competed to win some of the tools and components they’d need to assemble their chairs. The competition was friendly, fun, and reinforced the teambuilding attributes we discussed.
Team engagement with compassion
The workshop was relaxing and fun, but the cause we were supporting was noble and sobering.
We donated the 7 wheelchairs to OneVet, OneVoice one of San Francisco’s most passionate champions for veterans’ rights. Their creed: no veteran gets left behind.
Eduardo Ramirez started OneVet, OneVoice in 2013. He wanted it to be a model of veterans care, and over the years that’s precisely what it became.
Ramirez retired from the Air Force, but his military zeal still burns brightly. His organization is a one-stop-shop for veterans who need support, and resources for healthcare, housing, education, and employment.
He understood better than anyone else in the room that those 7 wheelchairs were keys to freedom, renewed confidence, and self-esteem for their new owners.
Doors that were once closed to them will now be open. Bingo. Football games. Movies. Picnicking. Shopping. Exercising. Dining out with friends. Making new friends!
The triumphs and victories that might seem insignificant to the rest of us will be monumental to these 7 disabled veterans.
This realization made our team engagement workshop worth every minute for all of us.