Back in October we held our second Corporate Event at Southampton’s Harbour Hotel, a stunning location in the heart of the marina. Over the course of two days, we had the opportunity to meet new members of staff, see the usual colleagues in a more-relaxed work environment and catch up with the ones who are based in the North and overseas. For the first time since the previous generation of sterntube seals engineers, the whole team made it to the company-wide event, making it all the more special!
On day one, we hosted an informal lunch and meetings in our Andover office. It was great to finally use our kitchen, informally called “the Galley”, as it was always meant to be used: a spacious room where we can share a meal all together with a very large table for the occasional company-wide in-person meetings.
On day two we converged to Southampton for a morning of presentations in which we learned about our overall performance and growth, as well as receiving insights about the current market and views of the future developments for our company. This year’s message was “be happy and be brilliant”, a mantra centred on well-being and excellence as the two fundamental factors for our company’s success.
Then came the team-building practice that the warped minds of our HR Department concocted: a cardboard boat regatta!
In just over two hours we had to design and build a boat made entirely of cardboard and packing tape. The boats would then be taken to a slipway by the mouth of the river Itchen and raced by our three directors who are also the owners of the business. This was inspired by the race organised at Seawork, the workboat exhibition in Southampton we attended in June this year, to test the boat design we want to enter in the competition in 2024. Unexpectedly, we had a winner that not only floated, but also won two races and could still hold two rowers at the end of the regatta! Needless to mention that the mind behind this design is still boasting about it.
From the five teams we were split in, came five boats that were judged by our guest, business coach and mentor Richard Gigg, based on their name, design and execution as he observed us all intent at work – designing, discussing, taping, cutting, folding, morally supporting or getting a drink. And so JAM Victory, Sinkplex, Leaky Lee, SLX Hunter, and Happy Wave were born and launched.
The tide was ebbing and the wind gusts were blowing towards the open water creating spray on the low waves – what a perfect day to lose the pillars of the business in one fell swoop! Luckily the current and wind were weaker closer to shore, and our three intrepid owners kept to the safe zone. Nevertheless, it took quite some courage to take a couple of these "boats" into the sea. After some energetic rowing, three races, two men overboard, four sunken boats and a lot of cheering, Sinkplex came out as the unrivalled winner and will be racing in the cardboard boat regatta at Seawork 2024.
We all had a great time. A lot of effort was put in organising this event and everyone expressed their genuine appreciation for having a day like this to spend together with everyone across the group. It makes for a light story to share, it leaves a long-lasting memory in all of us, and it helps us to push through the future challenges and demands of the market with a smile. Ultimately what matters is that we're all growing stronger, and happier, together.
“Our very best wishes for a merry Christmas, and a prosperous and serene 2024!”
Everyone at SLX Group, Simplex Turbulo and STW Engineering
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