Personify Olympics: Going for Gold in Team Building

Personify Olympics: Going for Gold in Team Building

The annual Personify Olympics started in 2013 and was inspired by an episode of "The Office.

The #PFYOlympics originally began as a three-day event that included basketball, indoor activities (i.e. office chair racing), and a field day. Having just wrapped up its 5th year, the Olympics are now a series of week-long activities, ranging from trivia, kickball, corn hole tournaments, relay races, and much more. Employees are randomly divided into four teams, and their first task is to determine a team name and t-shirt design — often using inside jokes from the Personify office as inspiration. We kick off Olympic week with an opening ceremony and catered lunch on Monday, and end with a company-wide celebration that Friday night.

As the Olympics have grown, so has our company, and it serves as a great way for our employees to get to know new and old team members better outside the office, making it one of the most memorable events of the year! Team building activities like this keep our company feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Team Building 101

A recent Gallup study shows more than 70 percent of Americans are showing up to work not committed to providing their best results. You’re probably wondering “How do I keep this from happening in my workplace?” The answer is team building.

A recent Gallup study shows more than 70 percent of Americans are showing up to work not committed to providing their best results.Click To Tweet

The benefits of team building ultimately lead to more successful business practices. One of the most notable rewards of team building is more engaged employees. This means employees are ready to get work done and have solid friendships with coworkers. Companies with more engaged employees produce two times more income than companies lacking employee engagement. Additionally, Gallup found people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to fully engage in their work.

For as long as team building has been around, one of its constant goals is building camaraderie. Like stated earlier, having a best friend at work increases engagement. But, in reality, it’s hard being “best friends” with everyone in the office. Team building activities can start friendships between people who might not normally converse as much at work. In addition, team building makes people step outside of their comfort zones. By showing their true colors, employees get to see their peers in a way they might not on a daily basis, and seeing employees thrive looks good from an outside perspective as well.

By showing their true colors, employees get to see their peers in a way they might not on a daily basis, and seeing employees thrive looks good from an outside perspective as well.Click To Tweet

Team building also serves as an effective tool for recruiting future employees, especially as  Generation Z is starting to climb its way into the workforce. The newest group of workers commonly referred to as the “Yelp Generation” are heavy into researching company culture. Companies who brand themselves as having a flexible, unique culture will go miles with Generation Z. What better way for a company to market itself to potential employees than posting a company outing to a concert on Instagram, or in our case, racing office chairs?

The idea of team building may make some employees roll their eyes. Falling off of a table into the arms of your co-workers might not be most people’s idea of fun. The good news is that team building doesn’t have to just be trust falls and company picnics. In a recent Forbes article, the CEO of O2E Brands, Brandon Scudamore says, “The most successful, memorable team building events are ones that don’t feel like a day at the office.”

One of the biggest trends in team building exercises is getting employees out of the office. Sometimes being in the same location for an extended period of time makes it hard to grasp new ideas. Today, the most successful team building activities are done when employees can forget about work and focus on bettering friendships.

Sometimes being in the same location for an extended period of time makes it hard to grasp new ideas.Click To Tweet

The number of millennials in the workforce is growing at an incredible rate. This gives managers an opportunity to stray away from the old team building tactics and foster different ideas towards newer employees. Activities like escape rooms, volunteer days, and scavenger hunts allow employees to flex their creative muscles and work towards a common goal.


At Personify, the Office Olympics have shown us the positive effects of team building and brought us closer than ever. They serve as an opportunity for us to compete against one another while growing closer at the same time.

By stepping out of the office, we have built camaraderie amongst our Personians through service projects and getting involved with the community. Our Community Outreach Committee has done everything from throwing a Halloween party for the kids of the Brentwood Boys and Girls Club, to having a wing eating contest to fundraise for the Raleigh food bank. Even if not everyone wins a covered yogurt lid medal like in The Office, creating friendships while helping others will always be a win for Personify.

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