Ukulele Club builds bonds, welcomes all

When Stef Frenzi, an educator consultant with the Department of Human Resources, saw an opportunity to strengthen team unity, improve employee engagement, and have fun at his last county role, he took it.

“The thing that’s cool about a ukulele is that you can’t help but smile when you play it, because it’s a silly little instrument – you can’t take it too seriously,” said Stef.

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Pictured: From left, Terri Hansen, Diana Wurn, Glenn Evans, Stef Frenzl and Elaine Porterfield.

What started as a light-hearted conversation soon became a small group of people playing ukuleles together before blossoming into a movement within the workplace to bring people together.

“We started meeting once or twice a week and practicing songs,” said Stef. “What was interesting about it was the camaraderie that people felt, and what was also fantastic was that our manager was playing. It created a new relationship between management and staff.”

Stef knew the ukulele club was beginning to shift the dynamic of work when people began looking forward to “ukulele club day.”

“We really ended up seeing some huge changes with people’s desire to come into work,” said Stef. “It’s really made a big difference with helping people feel engaged – helping people feel like they have something more than just work when they come to work, in a way that’s not forced upon them.”

When he transitioned to the Department of Human Resources there were a few employees who knew about the ukulele club at his previous worksite and were interested in starting one at DHR. The club, which has only been meeting for about a month, is open to all employees and all skill levels.

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“We’re in a society that says you have to be really good at something in order to do it, and that’s not what this space is at all,” said Stef. “This space is about having a good time, learning something, trying out something new, just having fun and connecting with people.”

The club meets every Monday at noon in one of the Administration Building’s Project Space Conference Rooms on the third floor. If you’re interested in learning more about the club or joining reach out to Stef Frenzi.

“Just come, you are welcome,” said Stef encouragingly to anyone considering. “This is one of those places where you can go and it’s a safe place for you to not have to be perfect and where nobody is going to judge you, everyone is going to be supportive, and we are going to learn together. That’s what I think is the magic about this space.”