Why Team Retreats Matter (More Than You'd Think…)
The 11:35AM flight to Barcelona is about to take off and so is my first team retreat. I was hoping for some fun and getting to know my colleagues better… Ended up with much more than that!
Team retreats are often seen as a way to relax and get to know your teammates better in a non (or less) formal context. Some companies fly all their staff to the Bahamas, some treat everyone to a ski vacation and others take their team on an hiking week-end.
There's no wrong choice, so long as you do it with intent.
Why? Because these retreats are the best opportunity to strengthen your organization on several levels.
1. Bring forth company values
Core values shape the culture and vision of the company as well as the mission and the actions of the team.
The sole perk of going on a trip won't create a unified group or culture. Some companies expect you to feel included and part of the gang because they will throw in some money from time to time for a trip or an event but won't actually bother to create a nurturing environment based on a set of meaningful values.
These are our values here at Overloop:
- Customers First
- No Bullshit
- Think Outside The Box
- Make Mistakes
- Be Lazy
- Only "No Ego" Doers
- The Devil is in the Details
- Keep It Simple
- Freedom & Responsibility
- Have Fun & Be Happy
You can find more details about them in our culture deck.
Company values can translate into many things, the main one being the activity of the business. But it shouldn't by any means stop there; when going on a team retreat, pick or leave room for activities that emphasize the values you stand for.
Take advantage of the occasion to go over corporate values with the team in a different context.
It'll help build a stronger unity and a clearer sense of purpose for everyone involved.
2. Discover hidden talents
When you do the same thing every day with the same people, it's hard to get to know what other skills or hidden talents they might have. It's especially true if you have introverts on your team. They won't talk about themselves but might reveal unexpected skills or traits through a certain activity, that you may never have noticed otherwise.
You may discover that a seemingly shy person can actually be really outgoing or that you may have more leaders within your team than you initially thought.
How could that be put to use in a professional context? How can you help these potentials bloom in your company?
3. Stretch out your comfort zone
Nothing gives you a sense of accomplishment like getting beyond your comfort zone. Retreats are a big opportunity to give your team that sense of accomplishment by picking activities like… say, scuba diving, or rock climbing. It boosts general morale and confidence, which is the kind of value that makes employees empowered and motivated.
Retreat like you mean it!
Team retreats are not just the corporate things to do to keep employees pleased.
Don't keep them pleased, keep them valued and empowered.
A team retreat is a fantastical opportunity to grow as a company, think of it as such!