Flip Cup as a Retention Tool?

Posted by: in Human Resources, Inside WCG on September 6, 2012
With the arrival of Labor Day, it is clear that summer is over.  Another indicator on the change of season is the empty desks left behind by our departing summer interns.

This summer we had 12 interns that were working within our Analytics, Health Care, Corporate and IT Departments.  Their projects ranged from client facing work to research to data analysis to hands-on IT infrastructure work.

Interns have historically been a great feeder for talent for W2O Group with approximately 15 – 20% of them being retained or re-hired upon their graduation.

Joshua Kadden, our intern in our IT group wrote a great follow up letter to the CEO on his time with us:

Dear Jim,
I would like to give you credit for helping me have the most special, unique, productive and overall amazing experience that I could have possibly imagined.  At first I did not quite understand what WCG did and does because there is so much you guys do.  As the summer went on I realized that was what made WCG such a cool place to work.  There was so many different opportunities and so many different departments. To appeal to different interests.  I took advantage of this by reaching out and learning from the IT department, corporate strategy, finance and the social media people.  I don’t think there are many professors that could teach me what Benny, Gary, Paul and Tom had taught me.

Looking at business the way I look at sports teams is an important approach that I took away from my summer experience.  It doesn’t matter about individual players if there is no strong team and team cooperation.  

I learned this first hand working with the IT team.  This summer was an exciting one for the IT team in NY, most of which was out of their control, and yet despite the heat we took, Benny continued to deal with these problems in a admirable way constantly refusing to throw anyone under the bus.

Despite learning an infinite amount of information this summer, I think my favorite part of being part of the WCG team was the office environment and the rest of the employees.  These two things are what made my last days the most memorable.  During the Olympic Games I had met and spoken with employees I had never even seen.  I was sharing similar emotions with full grown men and women at the victory of flip-cup that I share with my friends at school.

As a result of this experience I feel far more educated, mature and directed and I owe that to you.  I hope that I will have another opportunity similar to this in my life.

Sincerely,
Josh

One of the things that resonated from Josh’s letter is how WCG is getting it right with working with the Millenials.  In a recent contribution to Forbes, Matt Miller showed a great info-graphic that outlines findings from a study done at University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.  

Clearly, in Josh’s case we provided the collaboration and motivation needed as he worked cross functionally, and inclusively across the organization.  …and playing Flip Cup at the company’s Olympic Games celebration gave him a way to network with Baby-Boomers and continued to keep him engaged in the organization.  Who knew that a college drinking game could be a bridge between the generations that also strengthens employee engagement?

By: Dina Folkman

Talent and Culture Geek/HR Business Partner

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Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

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