“The greatest asset of a company is its people.”
MGS has a long-standing tradition of bringing all employees together for team outings, get-togethers, and even out-of-town trips. Through these efforts, our interpersonal and professional relationships inside the company have become stronger, which has also improved our team dynamics and company culture over time.
Since our team had expanded over the previous year, I decided it would be appropriate to organize special company events to gather our team members from all parts of the Philippines together, in time for my visit to the country.
We came up with these two events:
Our two-day event began with a team-building activity at Solea Mactan Resort on January 6, 2023
The resort features extensive pools, a spacious outdoor recreation area, a convenient beachside location, and even a roof-deck bar overlooking the ocean– everything we need for a great day under the sun.
Our lunch buffet was served in a tent put up in their garden area, which we had all to ourselves. We also enjoyed the nicest view from our spot because it was just across the resort’s waterpark. I could not have asked for a better setting for our outdoor activity!
While waiting for lunch, everyone—including our managing director, Mike—enjoyed playing volleyball. It was his first trip to the Philippines so it was fun seeing him get along with the team. This game was really an ideal icebreaker.
Here are more of the activities we did together:
Lunch buffet at the Garden Villa
MGS team playing “Pass the Ball” and “Blind Drawing”
Team-building activities go beyond simple recreational pursuits. It’s an opportunity to identify your employees’ strengths, enhance their leadership abilities, and help them become better problem solvers and team players. This is why I believe that one of the most essential practices that every company should cultivate is spending time with and getting to know coworkers outside of the workplace to establish real connections.
Company Holiday Party
This holiday party was our second event. At MGS, we consider our holiday celebrations as the most important party of the year! It’s an avenue to engage more with our employees, show them how much we value their contribution to the success of the company, and celebrate a productive year together.
MGS Global Group Photo
We had our postponed holiday party at Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City just a day after our team-building. Our theme was “White Christmas,” so we requested everyone to wear anything white or silver, and decorated our venue to go with the motif. Everything about this party was creatively planned out and organized by our marketing team. They did a fantastic job!
As a hybrid company, we made sure that every single one of our employees could take part in this event. Our Ormoc-based graphics team, Bohol-based rendering team, and a few members of our drafting team from Luzon and Mindanao flew to Cebu to celebrate this special occasion with us. Since we were all gathered for the first time, we took extra steps to make this party extra special.
Mike George, Managing Director of MGS Global Group, welcomed everyone to the event and gave an enthusiastic opening speech where he expressed his joy of finally seeing everyone in person. Dinner was served after and everyone enjoyed a scrumptious meal while being serenaded by a live acoustic band. They definitely elevated the event’s atmosphere!
One of the highlights of this party was the group performances of the drafting teams. Each team was tasked to prepare a presentation after we announced that there would be a monetary incentive for the “Best Group Performance” award at our party. They were all up for the challenge and very eager to see what each group had prepared.
The Point Cloud Drafting team sang a Christmas song as the first group to take the stage. The CAD team then gave a show-stopping performance that had everyone in stitches with their dance routine inspired by the 1990s— you would’ve guessed by now who won, wouldn’t you? And the final performers featured both our Revit and ArchiCAD teams who also presented a dance number.
Another highlight of the party was the raffle draw. Since it’s our holiday party, I wanted a more enjoyable approach to offering our thank-you presents and I think that the raffle draw was a surefire way to do so! The anticipation for their prize made it much more fascinating, and it kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Everyone at the party interacted more during this portion of the event.
After the raffle draw, everyone had the chance to exchange gifts. In the Philippines, we call it Manito-Manita. The idea behind this holiday activity is somewhat comparable to Secret Santa, only that you won’t know in advance who you’re giving your gift to. Being creative with the gifts to prepare beforehand is part of the fun.
To wrap things up, I had the pleasure of delivering a speech to everyone. Even though I technically speak for a living now I still get nervous whenever I speak in front of a crowd. Nonetheless, I wanted to express my gratitude to the people behind the success of MGS and the reason why we organized the party in the first place.
In my speech, I highlighted a practice I’ve been doing for years— picking a word of the year. My previous words of the year were: 2018-Diversify, 2019-Accelerate, 2021- Pivot (started my podcast, Architect My Life) and, 2022-Focus
And for 2023, the word of the year is MGS 2.0. This year, we are aiming to upgrade, improve, and advance. Firstly, we are upgrading our processes and systems in the company to ensure that we are providing only the best support to overwhelmed firms and architects, as well as producing quality service to meet our clients’ satisfaction.
Secondly, we are actively upgrading our employees’ skill sets through in-house training and workshops. This gives them the chance to experiment with different architectural tools and at the same time, expose them to more projects that reinforce their design acumen. I believe that by enhancing our team members’ skill sets, we are also laying the groundwork for their personal development.
Thirdly, in order to ensure that everyone is working in a positive environment that inspires and empowers them, we are upgrading our workspace and moving to a larger office. We put value into creating an atmosphere where everyone can take pleasure in their work, prevent unfavorable outcomes, and promote a supportive culture that will develop both our team and the company as a whole. Most especially, we keep in mind that happy employees make for satisfied clients and that a pleasant work atmosphere promotes that.
Lastly, we are enhancing our clientele by recognizing those who still align with our ethos— clients who value our employees, our efforts, and our results. While getting more clients is necessary for business growth, maintaining a positive relationship with them is just as important. At MGS, we are fortunate enough to choose who we work with, we want to focus on getting long-term clients who share our values and are eager to grow with us.
Employees First Approach
During the two days I spent with everyone in the company, I was reminded once more of how far we’ve come . Starting with only two drafters, including myself, I am proud to say that we have grown to a team of 30 and growing. Of course, without their hardwork and dedication, this success wouldn’t have been possible. But above all, I think putting my people first was a key factor in making it happen.
“Pay your employees before yourself”
I took this lesson from my parents who taught me that in order for a business to flourish, employees must always come first. This ultimately became my guiding philosophy, and I have constantly applied it to how I manage my company. When employees are happy, clients are happy too. When we take care of our employees, they take care of our clients in return.
Initially, the purpose of these activities was to give everyone a much-needed rest. In the end, it led to better camaraderie among our staff, a more united company culture, and a more valued workforce. Everyone came back feeling more refreshed and productive at work, too! We definitely had a great weekend together, and it was just what we needed to kickstart MGS 2.0. Looking forward to what 2023 has in store for us!
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