5 Wacky Ways We’ve Built Morale at JDM

Building team morale is essential for maintaining a positive and productive work environment. High morale can increase job satisfaction, teamwork, and overall performance. While we prioritize feedback, transparency, and growth, sometimes some good old-fashioned fun is the best way to go. 


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Here are some of the wacky ways we’re building morale across JDM’s remote workforce.


1. Virtual Holiday Party 

As a remote-first company, our gatherings are typically conducted virtually. Last year, we introduced our very own version of the "Dundies.” This tradition came to life thanks to a creative suggestion from one of our employees, and it is now named the JDeMmies. To add a touch of humor and lightheartedness, we enlisted the services of two of our resident jokesters to serve as hosts, and employees voted for their peers in the respective categories. We’ve made some minor changes to the format for this year’s awards and are in the process of making selections for this year's hosts. Stay tuned for this year’s winners!


2. NFL Pick ’Em/March Madness/Golden Bachelor 

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to boost team morale! We've established various leagues dedicated to different sports events and TV shows. Currently, we're engaged in NFL Pick 'Em and Golden Bachelor. It's always a blast to discover who emerges as the champions, and we've set up dedicated Slack channels for ongoing season discussions. We also make weekly winner announcements during our All Hands meetings. Remarkably, the current frontrunner in NFL Pick 'Em claims they simply "close their eyes and picked" to make their selections.


3. Virtual Live-Hosted Game Show 

Yes, you read that correctly. We recently had our first virtual live-hosted game show hosted by a comedian. We were split into teams, played several rounds of different games, and even had our first game show scandal (#fishgate)! It was a great way to collaborate, work together as a team, and break up the workweek.


4. Chopped

Since we can't easily gather for in-person potlucks, we've adapted by organizing our own rendition of "Chopped." Occasionally, we provide a list of ingredients, and our team members create meals, snap pictures, and submit them. Other times, we encourage employees to share their holiday meal preparations. This has evolved into an exchange of likes/dislikes, holiday eating traditions, culinary advice, and recipe swapping. It’s become one of our favorite traditions, and I look forward to seeing what people prepare for our next Chopped edition: Christmas side dishes. 


5. In-person gatherings 

Last but certainly not least, our most uplifting morale booster is our in-person gatherings! Given that our employees are currently dispersed across 14 states, arranging these in-person gatherings is a little tricky. Still, we greatly appreciate when we can all gather together in the same room. We like to pick locations that provide opportunities for team-building (we most recently visited Meow Wolf), great restaurants, and other fun activities for employees to encourage collaboration. These company gatherings create lasting memories, and I eagerly anticipate our next one!


If this sounds like the kind of fun you like to have at work, make sure to keep an eye on the JDM Careers page for openings!


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