The First (Soon-to-Be Annual) Cloudie Awards
The holidays can be a hectic time, full of pageants, presents, cookie decorating, family seeing, and whatever else your traditions happen to include.
So when our party planning committee (PPC) started planning our holiday party for 9 Clouds, we decided to schedule it for the more boring and less hectic month of January.
The PPC wanted to have some fun. The first rule was ugly Christmas sweaters. No need to dress up for the party — your best ugly sweater would do.
We also found a private event room to house the party, so we wouldn’t be overtaking a restaurant. This private event room gave us the opportunity to be ourselves at our regular jovial decibel.
By now, you may have read enough 9 Clouds blog posts to know that we are all about company culture.
We strive for working hard and playing hard.
Since the PPC has been known to surprise the team every now and then with things like tickets to see William Shatner, we knew this Christmas party was a party not to be missed.
Cue the Cloudie Awards
It all stemmed from an episode of The Office.
At Dunder Mifflin’s Christmas party, Michael Scott presents his annual “Dundies” awards. Unfortunately, his idea of fun is not so comical for most of his coworkers. But those awkward moments inspire an annual event where Michael can roast — I mean toast — every team member (besides Toby).
Thus, with The Office as our inspiration, the 9 Clouds “Cloudies” were born.
It’s important to know that when we contrived the idea, we wanted to ensure that none of the awards made people uncomfortable. There was no “Bushiest Beaver” award (poor Phyllis!) — and thankfully, no one refused their trophy at our party. We did enjoy a few comical laughs, though.
Here’s the full rundown of our first (soon-to-be annual) “Cloudies” of 2017:
Allen: “Best ‘I Moustache (You a Question)'” award
Betsy: “Horsiest Dog” award
Catherine: “Best Iowan [Residents Only]” award
Jacquelyn: “The Dutch Baywatch” award
Jaden: “NEWEST” award
Jenny: “Most Colorful Shirt in a Team Photo” award
John: “Best Calves” award
Matt: “Best Mattsplanation for Extensive Use of the Mattograph as a Method of Explaining Things in 2017” award
Rachel: “Loudest Solitary Hiccup [on September 17, 2017, at 2 p.m.]” award
Sarah Carnes: “Mom of the Year” award
Sarah Klongerbo: “Most Fashionably Late” award
Scott: “Outnumbered AF” award
Wendy: “Puck Off” award
Honorary Award to Byron [business partner]: “Best Supporting Actor” award
We had a plethora of ugly sweaters in the crowd. From a light-up unicorn to a Christmas tree and fireplace, there wasn’t a boring sweater to be found.
Our “Best Ugly Sweater” award went to Rachel’s boyfriend Nate, for his classic Ducks Unlimited sweater.
Let Your Team Be Themselves
We realized right away that our office isn’t one for a “formal attire” Christmas party. Don’t get me wrong; we enjoy dressing up every now and then — but who wants to go out in the frozen tundra of South Dakota in a dress or suit?
Hint: no one.
In order for any team event to be successful, it’s important for the company to be in tune with your team enough to know what will or will not work.
If you haven’t started your own version of a PPC, try it out. You don’t have to go over the top with your events, but do find ways of rewarding your team for a job well done.
Want to see more of our company culture at 9 Clouds? Follow us on Instagram, or find us on Snapchat at See9Clouds.