Ask anyone at Pelican what it’s like to work here, and they’ll tell you it’s like being a part of one big, happy family. From bridal showers to family support, Pelican’s workplace culture has been and will remain a family-focused atmosphere. We believe that by having a team dedicated to putting the utmost care into the quality of our team members’ lives, we can have our team members return that care back to our members and their well-being. These beliefs led to the creation of our annual team member event—the Pelican Family Reunion.
The Pelican Family Reunion is a large event where the entire Pelican team gathers together to celebrate professional milestones, participate in teambuilding activities and enjoy time with Pelican family members near and far. This event is relatively new, and this was only the second year that it has been in existence.
Originally, the idea was to have a day of recognition and training like most companies, but Pelican isn’t like most companies! I had only been with Pelican for a few months, so I had no idea what to expect. Leading up to the event, all I kept hearing about was how great everything was last year and how excited everyone was for the Pelican Family Reunion coming up this year.
As the event was getting closer, the buzz around the office was growing each and every day. Emails were constantly going out teasing different parts of the event, like the t-shirt design, food selection and the games that would be played. The team members were excited to have a bit of fun playing games, dancing and enjoying time spent with other Pelican family members from across the state.
The theme for this year’s Family Reunion was “Coming Back Stronger,” which really hit home for a lot of us here at Pelican. The catastrophic floods in in our Baton Rouge, Prairieville, Monroe and Denham Springs communities caused a lot of heartache for our co-workers and our members. For a lot of us, we had to start over; we had to rebuild and come back stronger.
During hard times, you find out a lot about who you are as a person and about the people around you. I can honestly say from the testimonies that I heard, Pelican team members gave everything that they could to help the victims of the flood. The purpose of the theme wasn’t to look back at negative aspects of the flood, but to remember the obstacles that had been overcome to make team members and Pelican as a whole come back stronger than ever before.
The day started off with everyone receiving their nametags and lots of laughter and conversation from long distance friends. Eventually, everyone found a seat with their friends. Once everyone was seated, our CEO Jeffrey K. Conrad welcomed everyone, thanked everyone for coming and introduced our theme of “Coming Back Stronger.” Once he finished discussing the theme, a video was played about the stories and testimonies from the flood to help everyone get an inside look at the role that Pelican team members played in helping each other out.
The executive team began recognizing the tenure awards for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. There were a number of long-time team members that made 15 and 20 years with Pelican this past year! Special team member videos were made to show how much they are appreciated, and team members told some stories from their time working with them at Pelican. Once the tenured awards were given out, each department was recognized for their contributions in 2016.
When I first started at Pelican, I was told that we loved to eat and have fun. This event taught me that love was an understatement! After lunch, tables were pushed around a little so the front of the room became a dance floor. Like I said, we like to have a good time. The mystery of what games were going to be played were released one at a time. While playing the games, you truly found out who were the fiercest competitors, some of whom you would least expect.
Pelican team members don’t really need a reason to smile, but walking in seeing everyone definitely gave everyone a reason to smile. The entire day was filled with emotions. The flood video and the tenure videos that were played provided plenty of teary eyed moments that were both happy and sad tears. The games definitely surprised me due to the fact that some of the sweetest people here become the fiercest competitors you would ever come in contact with. Oh wait, did I mention there were door prizes? It honestly seemed like every small break we had was filled with endless door prizes, which everyone seemed to love!
Every day our primary focus and goal is to take care of our members, giving them the friendliest, most knowledgeable service that we can. In order for our team members to give this amazing service, it’s extremely important to not only tell everyone thank you, but to put those words in to action to show our appreciation. The team members that make up Pelican are some amazing people and this event allows for them to be properly recognized for their hard work and efforts throughout the year.
This event is awesome; I don’t know a better word to describe it! The idea of giving team members a day of work to spend time with other co-workers from across the state and play games amazes me. It’s one thing when someone tells you that they appreciate you, but it’s completely different when those words become actions and that is definitely what our admin team accomplished with this event. I know that I can’t wait for next year’s reunion, and I’m almost positive that everyone there feels the same way!