Do you like parades? I know I do. Who doesn’t?
At Norcast, we have discovered what’s better than watching a parade—participating. More than that, we have discovered the invaluable benefit of having a “peak experience” to share as a company.
Everyone’s excited leading up to the parade, but there’s a special excitement for those helping with and participating on floats. Brainstorming how you want to portray the theme, practicing your routines, and lining up with the other floats as you wonder if your hard work will delight the gathered crowds.
No matter how much fun you have preparing, there’s nothing quite like the actual parade itself. I think this every year, but I believe we had the most fun we’ve had at this year’s annual Holiday Parade.
We started down the parade route slowly. Parade fans lined up multiple rows deep on both sides of the street—adults, kids, seniors—all cheering, all smiling. I always love seeing the excitement on the faces of the children. When I move in close to the kids sitting in the first row and hold up my hand for a high five, they all jump up to meet my high five slap. It makes me feel like the most popular person ever.
The parade gives us more than personal satisfaction, though. It also draws our team together. When the parade is over, our whole group is full of energy and bonded by that special camaraderie that comes from striving together on a worthwhile project and then seeing that project through to a successful end.
This year, as we took down the float, lively discussion covered everything from funny float construction moments to the fun we had waiting for our turn to enter the parade route. We reviewed all the high points of the event, mostly remembering all the friends and neighbors we saw watching the parade. You can tell we all love it because, within a few short minutes, the team’s already discussing next year’s entry and how we can one-up ourselves.
At Norcast, the annual Holiday Parade has become a company-wide “peak experience.” By that, I mean it is both a living, breathing example of our company culture in action and a non-work related activity we love to do together.
The San Luis Obispo Downtown Association has hosted a holiday parade on the first Friday of December for the last 40 years. To participate, groups must submit a short application and review the guidelines/rules for float building and operation. The Downtown Association announces the parade theme and releases applications in late September or early October. Generally, the faster you submit your application, the closer your group gets to be to the front of the parade.
Once we hear the theme, the Norcast team gets together and begins brainstorming ideas for our float. Last year, we turned a small utility vehicle into a sleigh, and this year, we transformed a vintage flatbed truck into the land of Oz from “The Wizard of Oz,” complete with a full cast of characters and Dorothy’s house spinning on top of a tornado funnel cloud.
No matter what the theme or activity you choose, peak experiences help your team feel like family and your company feel like home, and we all know that “there’s no place like home.”