Atlee Hall Completes “March Mindfulness” Wellness Challenge

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Workplace Culture: It Needn’t All Be Madness

Basketball, brackets, and sweepstakes. We’re all familiar with March Madness. Yet, the Atlee Hall team didn’t stop there. We decided to throw March Mindfulness into the mix too.

Devised by our activities and wellness committee, the premise was simple: to throw kindness around like confetti, make someone’s day, and to remind ourselves that we rise by lifting others.

We wanted to encourage everyone in the firm to take part and thought that a little competition (with prizes, of course) would help raise the stakes. Having identified five pillars under which we felt each person would be able to contribute something, we left it to the ‘name picker ninja’ to draw four random teams, with a partner in each team.

The rules of engagement were deliberately straightforward – this was meant to be fun and engaging for everyone:

  • Each team member must complete a minimum of one activity – there is no maximum
  • One point (in the form of stickers) is awarded for the completion of an activity
  • Honesty! You award yourself the sticker(s) based on completion of an activity
  • Progress charted on the first floor for all to see
  • The team with the most stickers wins
  • A celebratory pot luck team lunch at the end of the month to share experiences, what we noticed, and to announce the winners
  • Create your own activities or see the list of suggestions

Our five pillars were community, creativity, learning, health and nutrition, and mindfulness.

What we noticed:

Judging by the number of stickers, we are a pretty healthy and mindful bunch! Everyone embraced the concept with gusto, coming up with a team name and even designing team crests (2 creativity points in the bank). Levels of communication increased; we stopped to have conversations with one another, shared interests outside of the office, paid each other compliments, left little notes of kindness on desks, brought each other treats, and offered help and support. Whether it just so happened to be review time, or whether continuing education was at the forefront of our minds, we also notched up plenty of stickers under the learning pillar. And, given that creating a safer community is part of Atlee Hall’s mission, it was no surprise to also see abundant contributions to the community – firm wide and individually.

And here’s the thing: it’s actually pretty easy to be mindful. It doesn’t mean that the hard work has to stop.

Admittedly, we are quite a cynical group. The lack of a ‘sticker steward’ did lead to a few raised eyebrows over some teams’ activity levels and there was healthy debate over what qualified as an acceptable activity worthy of being awarded a sticker. If nothing more, we talked, we laughed, we cared.

While workloads might sometimes feel ‘mad’, being mindful reminds us that we are not alone. We are part of a bigger team. We can each have an impact on one another, make a difference in our clients’ lives, and our community. The trick is continual practice.