A few weeks ago, the team here at Protocol embarked on a company day packed with motivational talks, interactive discussions and team building exercises to launch the new academic year.

Here’s an overview of what we got up to:

The Power of Ten

The day kicked off with a talk from our CEO, Amir Qureshi, who discussed the Power of Ten. This concept centred around ten core elements to improve the company culture and environment. One of the main concepts that came from this talk was the idea that work should be fun whilst also being a place to collaborate with others to reach a common goal.

Following this talk, an icebreaker activity took place where everyone had a word on the back of their name badge and had to find the person whose word related to theirs. This allowed people to connect with others in the organisation that they may not usually interact with which helps to develop relationships and form a more collaborative team.

New academic year overview

Protocol Recruitment Director, Stef Evans, gave a passionate talk about our business’s busiest time, the new academic year (NAY).

Consulting seasoned Protocol veterans on their experience of this time, newcomers to NAY got an insight into the ups and downs of this busy period and what to expect.

A common theme that came across from this overview is that, whilst NAY may be one of the busiest and hard-working times of the year, it is also highly rewarding and brings people together through the shared desire to achieve success.

Talk from former GB badminton champion, Gail Emms

Former GB badminton player, Olympic silver medalist and former World Champion, Gail Emms, joined us to discuss concepts such as:

  • Persevering with an activity until you get better by learning from people at a higher level than you
  • Not giving up when faced with hardship
  • The importance of teamwork
  • Looking after your mental health and well-being

This talk undoubtedly motivated the team here at Protocol to be the best version of themselves heading into the new academic year and inspiration was taken from Gail’s experiences of being a top-level competitor.

Finally, Gail’s medals were passed around the team and many questions were asked about Gail’s life during and following her sporting career.

Mental Health discussion

At Protocol, we take the mental health of our staff very seriously. That’s why we have our very own in-house mental health team to support any staff member who needs them.

This interactive session, headed up by Recruitment Manager and Mental Health First Aider, Shaun Heseltine, asked staff members to get into groups of 6 or 7 and come up with three things they thought could help to improve the culture at Protocol and promote positive mental health.

Many good suggestions were made including more team days, social events, enhanced transparency and, the most popular, pets in the office!

This activity will allow the mental health team to evaluate suggestions and see what can be implemented to further improve the culture here at Protocol.

Team building exercise, ‘the leaky pipe’ challenge

To finish the day off, we ended with a team building exercise called ‘the leaky pipe’ challenge. This game involved teams of 6 transferring balls from one bucket to another using three sections of drainpipe. If the ball dropped on the floor, the whole team would have to go back to the start.

This activity proved more difficult than first appeared with teams regularly dropping the balls or trying to take too many across at one time. The ultimate winners were the pink team who showed great teamwork and patience to beat the rest of the business.

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