WRAL, Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., welcomed back returning employees and thanked those who never left, with a week-long celebration last week, Week of Welcome or WOW.
Each day of the week was themed with a nod to events that were missed in 2020. The company offered $50 bonuses to all employees who showed their vaccine cards to HR, which has resulted in a vaccine rate over 95% and allowed most staff to return to campus.
The N.C. State Fair was canceled in 2020, so WRAL brought employees a bit of the State Fair that never was with funnel cakes, carnival games and caricatures. Thanks to the help of Funnel Bakes food truck and Interactive Playgrounds, employee’s felt like they were stepping into the N.C. State Fairgrounds for one of the best times of the year.
WRAL has been involved with the IBMA Bluegrass Live festival since it first came to Raleigh. The employees all missed the world-class live music experience when the street festival was canceled in 2020, so WRAL brought the live music back to WRAL’s campus on Tuesday when employees jammed with the Beer & Banjos Allstars. While the band played, employees were treated to coffee from Hollywood Java Coffee Truck.
The pandemic forced the cancelation of one of WRAL’s signature community events in 2020, WRAL’s Winter Wonderland. While the weather outside in July might have been frightfully hot, WRAL cooled things down with faux snow and chilly treats for employees in their very own Winter Wonderland. Employees were treated to ice cream while listening to holiday music and watching snow fall from the sky, thanks to the help of Southern Snowman.
With travel restrictions and social distancing, many people didn’t vacation much in 2020. For anyone who missed out on that beach vacation, the beach came to WRAL. On Thursday, employees were treated to lunch from the 2020 WRAL Voter’s Choice Award winner for best food truck, Cousins Maine Lobster. The atmosphere was completed with music, Hawaiian leis and palm trees.
Big news in 2020 was the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics, but the Games are back in 2021. WRAL is counting down to the Opening Ceremonies on July 23. To get in the spirit, employees tested their athletic skills on Friday and took photos on a medal stand with their very own gold medals. Red, white and blue cupcakes sweetened the day as WRAL thanked employees for being part of this winning team on the last day of WOW.
“We have waited a long time, over a year for some, to see each other again in person,” says Joel Davis, WRAL’s GM.
“Having our employees back on campus has rejuvenated many. We wanted to remind employees that while the past year proved we can have a lot more flexibility to work remotely, there are many positives to being together on campus, too. It’s been a fun week that really helped re-establish that feeling of togetherness that makes this company unique.”
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