Before summer officially came to a close, TCL Sun Inc.’ made the most of what’s left of the summer season by spending two days away from the city life to unwind, relax and fulfill One TCL, One Goal – “The Castaway Challenge”. Held last June 20 and 21, 2014 at Wild Orchid Beach Resort in Olongapo, Subic, this year’s Team Building was surely a remarkable event for TCL Philippines.
Travelling more than 3 hours away from the heart of Manila, a total of 79 employees of TCL Sun Inc. got to experience their first ever team building together in Northern Luzon. Although the clouds evidently showed signs of gloomy weather, everyone was filled with enthusiasm for the activities in store for two exciting days ahead.
Upon arriving, everyone was welcomed by the accommodating staff of Wild Orchid Beach Resort. The view was very pleasing and the grey weather did not do anything to spoil the beauty of the location. With a delightful buffet lunch to start off the day, it was definitely a good sign that the trip was going to be a great culinary experience as well.
Opening remarks were initiated by Mr. Mars Ma, CEO of TCL Sun Inc., acknowledging all TCL employees and their respective departments. In his speech, he underscored the importance of everyone working together as one company to achieve its biggest goal for 2014 – achieving 1.1 billion pesos in overall sales.
Before the activities began, Ms. Girlie, the head facilitator of recreational games commended the TCL employees for arriving on time, emphasizing that punctuality reflects on the discipline of an organization’s employees. She also had inspiring things to say about the activities, which will help the group work together towards one goal. Ms. Girlie also made sure that everyone—upper level management included—will participate in the activities so that everyone benefits from the exercises.
The program proper was kicked off with a warm up exercise to get everyone pumped up. TCL managers Mr. Mars Ma, Mr. Parke Wang, Ms. Summer Gao, Mr. Eason Cai, and Mr. Bernie Li were asked to asked to lead in front, much to the delight of the whole TCL Sun Inc. team.
After the warm up, Ms. Girlie asked to divide all the employees into 5 groups. The team members were chosen at random by counting off from 1 to 5. This way, the employees got to work with representatives from different department to foster camaraderie. According to the facilitators, this exercise was to show that the success of an organization is dependent on how it fosters its employees.
For this exercise, a leader was picked from each team. Ms. Girlie instructed that none of the managers were allowed to become team leaders. This so that everyone can see the leadership qualities that even regular employees possess. Each team consisted of both older employees and newer employees, or the group’s “babies”. The teams were to take care their respective “babies” to succeed in the activity.
According to Ms. Fiona Gozon, HR Supervisor, most of the games played in this team building have not been played during the previous Team Building. The most exciting part of the activities was the “Amazing Race”, which was derived from a popular TV show, mixing it with the reality show called “Survivor”. The first part of the race had to be conducted indoors because of the rainy weather. But despite the possibility of getting wet, the employees were all very active and were willing to take on any challenge. So, rain or shine, the “Amazing Race” pushed through! The teams raced together through 8 obstacles, accompanied by respective facilitators to ensure fairness and accuracy in judging.
It was a very tough race. Despite the occasional downpour, the teams didn’t mind getting wet as they coursed through the challenges with determination to win. It was a close match between the teams but it all went down to who finished the ultimate challenge – the “Palo Sebo”. All the teams managed to reach the end of the course but climbing a slippery bamboo pole while being drenched in the rain proved to be an added challenge. Ultimately, Mr. Alex Nolasco of the Orange Team was the first one to get the flag on top of the 20 foot pole, making their team champions of the Amazing Race.
All the teams were commended for doing their best. “The challenge is about YOU”, Ms. Girlie said after the activity. Communication was the main factor – listening and strategizing together to complete a survival challenge with time constriction and limited amount of resources.
It was evident that all the employees were able to enjoy themselves during the activities. Mr. Marlon Estilong from the Marketing Department claimed that the activities were challenging, both physically and mentally. Whereas, Ms. Eleanor Amagan from Supply Chain Department expressed that everyone was able to enjoy and build camaraderie with each other, and that the exciting activities were able to motivate the employees not just for work but for life itself. Lastly, Mr. Patrick Policarpio – who was able to attend TCL Sun Inc. Team Building last year – said, “I had a good time! Not only did the activity give valuable learnings, it also gave an opportunity for other teams/departments to know each other and work on goals together!”
After a day full of fun and games, the employees enjoyed their free time by exploring the resort, swimming in the beach and playing around in the pools. By dinner time, all of the exhaustion from the activities was wiped out and everybody was ready for what the HR Department themed as “Social Night”. This particular event started out with a wine toasting ceremony with all of TCL Sun Inc. employees where everyone raised their glasses and cheered as another part of the evening unfolded.
The employees belted famous karaoke hits throughout the night. There was also a singing contest where every department had a representative to compete for the highest score in the videoke machine.
The overall winner for the Amazing Race and the ranking for all the other participants were also announced. Team leader of the winning Orange Team, Mark Gurial (also a first timer in attending TCL Team Buildings) expressed, “It’s difficult that each individual in the group has different ideas and priorities, but it’s wonderful that everyone can work together towards one goal. It’s a great experience!”
The winners got to receive special TCL Team Building tumblers and chocolates for winning, while all the employees also got to take home some souvenir tumblers as a remembrance of the company outing. But the main competition of the Social Night would have to be the beer drinking contest where almost all employees actively participated in because for every round of the contest, the winner was given a generous cash prize!
It was definitely a night to remember for the employees of TCL Sun Inc. The night ended and everyone was indeed closer to one another, and was filled with satisfaction from the festivities. Despite everyone’s busy schedules and taking 2 days off from the usual office work, the employees are surely thankful for the management of TCL Sun Inc. for continually allowing recreational activities that foster camaraderie. Without a doubt, every member of the team learned valuable lessons that they can take with them, both in work and in real life.