Boys Town North Florida prides itself on the positive peer-to-peer culture that has cultivated over many years. Staff members often comment on how they feel they are part of a team and are supported.
Since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, it has been difficult for Boys Town North Florida to allow experiences for employees to collaborate and mingle like they did before the pandemic. Over the last year, there were changes in staff and many newcomers that couldn't experience many classic events like the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, quarterly birthday potlucks, and all-staff holiday breakfast.
The Employee Recognition Committee decided, due to a better COVID climate, to bring the culture back to North Florida and host a Staff Appreciation Spirit Week! Each activity was cautiously planned to allow for in-person, virtual, or asynchronous participation. The events allowed staff members the opportunity to meet and see one another and enjoy treats and activities to thank everyone for their hard work, especially their efforts through the pandemic.
Spirit Week kicked off with all staff wearing Boys Town merchandise and enjoying morning treats, such as coffee, tea, and snack bars. Treats were brought to the administrative office and delivered to campus for all staff to enjoy.
On Tuesday, the Employee Recognition Committee planned a Jersey Mike's subs lunch for all staff and a letter from Executive Director Marcus Lampkin, thanking everyone for being a great employee. Individuals had the option to eat together or grab their lunch to-go to eat where they were comfortable.
Wednesday was college and university representation day. Staff were encouraged to wear their favorite gear for the school of their choice and decorate their office. In the afternoon, there was an ice cream social event where each employee received succulents as a reminder of their resiliency.
Self-care was the theme for Thursday with a guided meditation from former staff member, Tavarus Sherrod. Tavarus taught employees about the importance of breathwork and having a pleasant mental scene to retreat to as a sanctuary of relaxation.
To wrap up Spirit Week, employees went to the movie theatre to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which received the most votes from staff to see.
Overall, everyone enjoyed Spirit Week and appreciated the chance to get to know everyone and feel celebrated. The Employee Recognition Committee considered the week a huge success and can't wait for the holiday season to hopefully arrange more activities to celebrate the culture at the North Florida site.