As owners of a creative agency, we’re always thinking about how to inspire creativity. This year, we wanted to really push the limits of how we inspire and engage our employees at thinkPARALLAX.
We both have a passion for traveling the world. Guusje left her native Holland in her 20s to explore, and my wanderlust began in a Jamaican dance hall at age 13 and continued in my 20s as I traveled for a year and a half across Southeast Asia, China, Russia, Europe and North Africa. We continue to travel at least once a year, finding that the experience is transformative and allows us to see things from a different perspective.
Rather than send employees to conferences or a local museum, we thought, what if our whole team is “forced” to travel to a place they’ve never been, to immerse themselves in a new culture and gather inspiration?
That is how “PARALLAXploration” was born. Guusje and I gave our employees $1,500, an extra day off, and the instructions to travel somewhere in the world they’ve never been. To add to the fun, we are the only ones who know where each employee is headed – employees will reveal their location with photos and hints upon arrival and will update our website with photos from their travels. We know that this relatively small investment in each of our employees will have lasting effects not only on their work, but also on their lives outside the office.
We hope our PARALLAXploration program inspires you to think differently about how you envision employee engagement. What matters to you personally, and how can you fold that into a program that inspires your colleagues?
Let us know in the comments if you have tried any “outside-the-box” employee engagement activities and what kind of an impact they made.
Jonathan + Guusje