Monica kayaking summer fun

One of the best parts of being a ‘Pointster’, as any of us will tell you, is the great people we get to work with everyday.

We’re a very social company, which plays a large part of what makes Points such an awesome place to work.

The old adage, “Work hard, play hard” isn’t just something we say around here.

Our HR team and dedicated cross-departmental Social (Party) Committee are responsible for most of the year’s fun, social, and charitable events.

But once a year, they bravely hand the reins over to the whole company, for two whole months dedicated to, ‘Unadulterated, unabridged, unabashed Summer Fun.’

We realize that not every company gets a whole two months of Summer Fun, so today we asked our indomitable HR Administrator Monica Quinan if she could explain what it’s all about…

Seriously Monica, two MONTHS of Summer Fun? What’s all this about?

Summer Fun is really just what it says on the tin – fun, in the summer.

It’s not really designed to have any other or specific purpose, it’s something that came about in the earlier days of the company and has just carried on growing. Now it’s taken on a life of its own!

Every year in July and August, we open the floor to everyone in the company to suggest events they’d like to do for Summer Fun. And this could be anything, literally.

We’ve gone kayaking, indoor-skydiving, camping, invaded the local beauty salon to have a mass mani-pedi session, escaped Casa Loma, took instrument lessons, sang Karaoke, went to the movies, raced go-karts, white-water rafted, climbed rocks, played bubble soccer, watched Blue Jays & TFC games, and that’s all just this year!

Once an event has at least 10 people signed up for it, we give the go ahead and Points picks up the bill.

Sounds awesome! But what did the CEO have to say about that?

We’ve always been a very social company.

If you ask our CEO Rob, he’ll tell you it started many years ago, when Points was still a young upstart. Every Friday afternoon they would shut the office down for a couple of hours to go watch a movie together. The idea then was just to chill out, get out of the whirlwind in the office, and have some fun together.

As the company grew, this tradition just continued to grow with it.

After our rapid expansion, the social side of things started to become pretty complicated – if anything we were becoming too social!

That’s when Summer Fun officially started, around 6 years ago.

I think the Social Committee probably just needed a bit of a break, so it was more about getting all the social events organized in one place.

Describe Summer Fun in THREE words:

Three words? Well the first one is obvious: FUN!

That’s what it’s all about really. I’d be really upset if we couldn’t call it fun.

It’s definitely ADVENTUROUS too.

Kayaking toronto skyline-

Making (small) waves kayaking out on Lake Ontario for Summer Fun

Anyone can organize a summer event, so you get to try out some really interesting things you wouldn’t otherwise.

Our Pointsters are all very interesting people too, which means there’s always something new to do during Summer Fun.

The last word I’m going to pick is SOCIAL.

Summer Fun is all about getting out of the office, trying out some new things, and making some new friends.

What was your favourite Summer Fun activity so far?

I’ve enjoyed every Summer Fun event I’ve ever been too but for my favourite I’d have to pick the one I organized, which was trampolining.

I’ve enjoyed trampolining since I was a child, so it seemed an obvious choice for a Summer Fun event.

 

In the end we had over 20 people bouncing around at my local gym, learning some moves and doing their best not to seriously injure themselves.

It was super good fun and, judging by the number of complaints the next day, really good exercise too!

What does Summer Fun say about the company culture at Points?

I think that’s the best thing about Summer Fun – it isn’t ‘supposed’ to say anything about the culture.

We didn’t create Summer Fun to drive our culture, it was our culture that created Summer Fun, and our culture that keeps it going over the years.

It’s run and organized by the employees themselves, so it always seems very natural; not even a whiff of ‘boardroom dictated team-bonding exercises’.

I guess that’s exactly it.

Nothing about what we do for our team at Points is forced.

Social events like those in the Summer Fun program come about organically, from a genuine place, because it’s down to the employees to decide what they want to do and how.

There’s no ulterior motive or checklist getting ticked off here, it’s just about having fun and connecting with each other as humans, outside the work environment.

What’s your favourite memory from a Summer Fun event?

Where should I begin? That’s one of the best things about Summer Fun – there’s usually enough shenanigans to keep everyone giggling for the rest of the year!

I asked around the office for you and here’s some of the funny and favourite moments I got back from the team:

“My first Summer Fun as a Pointster was Karaoke! It was an amazing experience to let loose and have fun with everyone. What happens at karaoke, stays at Karaoke (so you’re not getting any photos), but I’ll just say that some co-workers are quite the singers!” – Deanna

“The CN Tower EdgeWalk was probably the most impressive. CEO Rob put his name down and sign-ups exploded. In the end we had to have a prize draw for places, as so many people wanted to go!” – Monica

CNTowerEdgeWalk-261

Our CEO Rob leads some Pointsters over the edge of the CN Tower

“Making Graeme wear dressy clothes while playing bubble soccer….that was awesome!” – Sandra

“There’s no photo evidence, but I cut my face very badly at bubble soccer and frightened a lot of little kids while making my way to get first aid” – Alan

Pointsters having a smashing time at our Summer Fun volleyball tournament

“That time when HR stuck a veggie stick up Jeff’s nose at camping (there is a photo out there)” – Nick

Jeff, still blissfully unaware of the Veggie Straw jammed in his nose.

“I really enjoy getting to try out all the different things other people enjoy, this year it was the painting class, musical instrument lessons, and SIM-racing.” – Rina

“Alan and I calling the winning two home runs in the bottom of the ninth at a Blue Jays game. The Jays were 2-0 down, with a man on first base. Justin Smoak was on the plate with two balls and no strikes. Normally in baseball you would let the next pitch by, but I gave Justin the green light to swing for it, and seconds later he smashed a homer. When Alan suggested the next would be a home-run…well, you can imagine the scenes that ensued when it was.” – Chris. O

summer fun at the blue jays

Points at the Rogers Centre for a Blue Jays game…

What was the wildest Summer Fun event suggestion you’ve had so far?

We’ve had a concerning number of people sign up to shoot guns at a nearby range. Luckily they don’t get too wild but I’m sure there are some suggestions that don’t make it on the shortlist!

 

 


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