MAKE Day | Why You Should Have One
Last year, we started a quarterly tradition at MAKE, called MAKE day; a day dedicated entirely to team building. We even extended our most recent MAKE day into our first ever MAKE retreat; a weekend getaway with the team. Skeptics may ask, “Is it really worth taking a whole day off work to do things like…trust falls?” Derek Dienner, Creative Director and Founder of MAKE would respond with an enthusiastic, “ABSOLUTELY!” Especially because we do a heck of a lot more than just trust falls, and what comes from these days makes us a stronger team capable of producing even better content than ever before. Derek invests in these days for his team, because he knows the result of a day focused on improving his employees relationships with one another is a day that will pay off tenfold in the long run.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MAKE DAY
MAKE day is a mix of team building activities, brainstorms, yummy food, and lots and lots of celebrating. Sometimes we forget to celebrate the little (and big) wins because we are so focused in the day to day, so we make sure to take this time to really celebrate one another and our accomplishments as individuals and as a whole.
Each employee at MAKE fills out a DiSC profile and Kolbe Index. DiSC is a nonjudgemental tool used for discussion of people’s communication and behavioral differences, while Kolbe measure your natural instincts; how you do things. While we work together everyday and know each other well, we take some time during MAKE day to dive deeper by reviewing each other’s DiSC and Kolbe results. This can be intimidating for some people, as it feels like their weaknesses are on display to their coworkers. However, Derek’s shared with me that, “these tests are not to focus on each other’s weaknesses, but instead on each other’s strengths. Success in life starts with self awareness, and these tests help bring another level of self awareness to our team.” This allows us to look at each person individually and learn their preferred working styles and how to effectively communicate with them. One size does not fit all, and taking the time to look at each individual’s personality style in our group of MAKErs allows us to work harmoniously on shoots and in the studio.
During MAKE day, Derek takes some time to review MAKE’s mission, vision, values, and most importantly, MAKE’s goals. By reinforcing what MAKE stands for and sharing the goals for the future of the company, we’re reminded why we come to work everyday and what we’re working towards. It’s a great check in to make sure everyone is on the same page, as we’re all on this ride together working towards one mutually agreed upon goal.
SCRIPT READ & WATCH
Prior to each MAKE day, we individually read a script from a film or TV show, and then watch it during MAKE day. So far, we’ve read scripts for Citizen Kane, LOST’s pilot episode, and Fight Club. After watching the film or show, we discuss how the script was adapted on screen. Derek shared that he does this exercise because, “As filmmakers, it’s important to study story structure and the creative choices directors, set designers, actors, etc. make on screen and how that is similar or different from the original script.”
Since MAKE day is about team building, we of course need to have a healthy amount of fun mixed in with the meetings. One MAKE day, we went to Escape on Queen and worked together to escape in under 1 hour!
We’ve played games like charades, Pictionary, and KanJam to relax and enjoy each other’s company (with a little friendly competition mixed in). We’ve worked together to decide what 10 items we’d bring if we were stranded on an island, picking from only objects that were in the room. We’ve had BBQs, gone to On Orange for breakfast, and had lunch at The Pressroom.
WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN A MAKE DAY
We encourage you to consider implementing a MAKE day for your business. Customize the day to fit your company’s individual goals and workforce. Perhaps your team would benefit from completing a ropes course together, or from having a company brainstorm to discuss everyone’s ideas and goals for the future. We highly recommend having your employees fill out a DiSC profile and Kolbe Index and diving into these for a few hours to improve everyone’s communication with one another. At the end of the day, your employees will appreciate and see that you invested in them, leading them to invest more in you, and ultimately creating a more positive and productive work environment.