As the organisation navigated through the Pandemic, one of the challenges Avery Dennison, like every other organisation, faced was to keep the momentum going for the team. Avery Dennison looked to run an APAC-wide initiative, sustained for six months. The format that emerged was that of a competitive, high-profile, team-based, sport-like event. The intent of the event was to create engagement, excitement and high spirits at times, where virtual connects replaced in-person employee interactions.
The brief that was shared with us was this: “Create an opportunity for cross-cultural relationships & collaboration through a sustained campaign of fun, team building engagements for a 3000+ employee base, spread across many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The objective was based on the following premises: Engagement - With so much changing so fast each day in these times, boosting morale and bringing the team together have become all the more important. When a team exhibits good morale, there is excitement and enthusiasm generated. Engagement in that sense becomes critically important.
Collaboration - When relationships between employees are strong, they are better able to communicate, work together, problem solve and manage conflicts. The activity is hence to be designed to strengthen relationships and collaboration in these challenging times.
Team building - Virtual team building can reinforce positive behaviour when working from home. A remote team building event gives employees the time to get inspired and come together as one team. It gives teams an hour to forget about the outside world and motivates the team to keep calm and carry-on working.
Engaging a large base of employees spread across different geographical regions has its own challenges. At the design stage, we gave ourselves a few broad guard rails within which to design the intervention:
• Something that would be ongoing for 6 months
• It couldn’t be one-off events. There had to be an all-encompassing story.
• The excitement had to be sustained in the period between the actual events too
• All activities had to work for a multi-cultural audience spread across APAC
• The whole intervention had to end on a high!
And hence was conceived, The Avery Dennison Premier League (APL)
APL was a 6-month long tournament where representatives from seven team came together once every month, to engage in a virtual team engagement activity. Like any large-scale sporting event, a live leader board was put up on a common virtual platform accessed through an app, to keep the individual and team scores ticking, along with their heartbeats! The platform also served as a buzzing social-media like channel for the entire Avery Dennison APAC employees. Apart from the live leader board, there were challenges, photos and videos that got posted after each event and employees were engaged by liking and commenting, thus sustaining the buzz.
• The entire APAC team was divided into 7 Teams for the whole year – each with their own unique branding, logo & war cry!
• Team Leaders were encouraged to create a video clip for inspiring their teams!
• Nominations were sought for the position of team captains.
• The chosen captains were tasked to weave their teams together and motivate them with a Unique War Cry!
• Branding was accentuated with badges, Templates etc.
• Every month on a scheduled day, these teams would virtually compete with each other over different team engagement activities that were lined up for that day. Whoever from the team was nominated, would play that day.
• A Dynamic Leader-Board would keep track of team scores on the year-to-date basis, keeping the competition always alive!
• The entire engagement would culminate with a day-long Grand Finale & Award ceremony!
To keep the excitement going, exciting logos were designed for each of the teams for them to engage with and build pride around their shared team identity.
The activities were carefully chosen keeping in mind the diversity of the audience and sequenced in a way that participants were kept guessing what challenge would come their way next.
Take a look at what the teams had to encounter:
1. Body, Mind & Sole Challenge
Think of it like the Ironman fitness challenge. The buzzer goes off and the action starts! A series of challenges – one after the other, that engage different aspects – Body, Mind & Sole. It is pure fun with the quirky challenges which make players get over inhibitions and let the fun side of their personalities show!
2. The Escape Room Challenge
The players are transported into a dramatic mythical world of dragons, magic, djinns and demons. Teams solve clues, puzzles, take tough decisions, and solve challenges as a team navigating through a nail biting and spine-tingling plot!
3. Map the City Challenge
A city filled with sights and sounds, museums and monuments, heritage and modernity. This could be just any of the modern cities around the world. The task for teams is clear and crystal: identify a set of different spots across the city and decipher the clues that would help unravel the not so hidden mysteries there!
4. The Quizimodo Challenge
Your colleague has been captured and kept in a lonely looking caravan in a deserted beach. Your team has to navigate through multiple stages to reach out to your friend and set him free. The only way forward is by solving quizzes!
5. Crime Scene Investigation
There has been a murder in the premises and your team has been called to investigate – can you piece together all the pieces of evidence to nail the murderer?
6. Countdown to Sixty
Inspired by the TV game, “Minute to win it” – this is one challenge filled with excitement and nail-biting moments as participants battle it out in various 60-second challenges.
7. The Digital Olympics Challenge
A perfect test of energy (roaring war cry!), mental agility (solving puzzles, riddles with cryptic clues), and physical endurance (squats, push-ups and a face-off planks finals – where the last person standing wins!
Here is a quick snapshot of the whole engagement:
From the kick-off to the closing ceremony – this was one long party for the participants, with non-stop excitement, great competitive spirit, buzzing virtual channels and all eyes on the leaderboard! All the monthly engagements were very well contested from employees all over the APAC region.
The periodic teasers sent as mailers to the teams kept the excitement going and the nominations pouring in for participation. The excitement and anticipation peaked as the great finale approached in November, with everyone rallying behind their teams to inspire them to win the APL.
This is what Ms. Nivedita Debnath, Director, Learning & OD|APAC, had to say: “Thank you so much to you and your team for a wonderful APL 1.0 journey. All the activities (both live events and Gametize) were designed and managed perfectly. We look forward to a similar partnership with your team for APL 2.0.”
Here are few other testimonials: “The Avery Premier League has been such a great experience to be a part of, and I am so honoured to have been voted captain of the Grey Leopards. It's been such a fun and comprehensive adventure, and given the current climate, it's been a great way to engage with others around the world! The games have been so well thought out and provided a space for entertainment and engagement for those of us involved. Overall it's been a fantastic experience!”.
- Sophie Rayside, Sales & Mktg Coordinator, Australia.
"With most of us working from home right now, the APL games have brought us back together each month in a social way. The games are well thought out, challenging, but most of all, fun. I always look forward to each session."
- Keith StMart, Regional Telecom Lead, AP.
“I would like to congratulate and thank the L&OD team for helping us with such an engaging and fun event- APL. These sessions gave us a chance to meet and know people across APAC, and have fun together as a team. This will also help in future when we reach out to these people for work-related projects. All the activities were well planned and really brought the team spirit in us. Overall, it's been a fantastic fun and learning experience!"
- Suhas Bhatia, GRS, India.
“The engagement on the app gave us an opportunity to know each other at a personal level and to build diverse relationships”.
- Mohit Kukreja, Segment Dev Mgr, India.
“The whole APL activity was filled with lots of fun, interactions and cherished moments. Not forgetting the challenges, we have to complete every time it is posted on the app. Overall, it was like taking a break from work once in a while and getting connected with people around the region”.
- Gomathi Sollamuthu, Executive Asst cum Admin Malaysia.