Flight Media took an EPIC team retreat this year.
We packed our bags and traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a week of team bonding, training, vision-casting for the company and lots of fun.
It’s safe to say we accomplished ALL of it. Including high-tension pinball.
(Some of us may have come away with a serious addiction.)
Our crew is spread out across the globe (USA, Canada, and Montenegro), so the chance to get together in person was, indeed, epic.
We’re sharing our experience so you can take a cue from our playbook and consider taking your team on a retreat.
Here’s what you need to know.
It’s a good idea to think about what you want to get out of a team retreat, both personally and also as a company.
Our leadership team wanted lots of synergy to happen, since we’re a part-remote team, and to take advantage of the focused time to work on vision, learning and skill building.
Here’s what a few of our team members had to say about what they personally wanted to get out of the trip:
“I expected a great time and lots of co-worker bonding!”
“I was hoping we would get focused time to work on the company as a whole and improve some things. I also looked forward to spending relaxed time with the team. As marketing professionals, we are always under deadlines, so it was nice to be together without the pressure.”
“I was just happy and looked forward to getting to spend time together. Not being in the same office, and working remotely, I don't have an opportunity to connect with some of my co-workers on a daily basis. I think it's important for teams who are spread out like ours to get together.”
One of the main goals of our Flight Media retreat was to talk about how our current processes are working and come up with some solutions for areas where we could see issues.
The chance for everyone’s voice to be heard – whether they were speaking on their area of expertise or not – was invaluable.
We spent many hours evaluating our sales, onboarding and ongoing processes, diving deep into what we do, how we do it, and how to improve.
And we came away with a long list of tasks to accomplish over 2020.
Here’s a snapshot of the items in our list to improve sales. (We use ClickUp to manage tasks and projects.)
Below is the onboarding tasks we’ll be working on over the coming year.
And finally, we created a list of projects to enhance the experience our customers have (we call this the “ongoing” list of tasks) once their project or campaign has been launched.
A few of our crew weighed in on the focused time we spent together working to strengthen our company:
“We came away with some great insights from everyone about how to improve our services. I am also excited about the potential for the copywriting team to grow in our skillset from the training we're doing.”
“I was really happy about our brainstorming strategies and setting the direction for the company heading into 2020 to focus on establishing longer-term retainer relationships with clients. I think it's good when everyone can give their input.”
“I really got to get some of my ideas and thoughts on the company, processes, and what we could improve on out in the open.”
No team retreat would be truly EPIC without the fun stuff. And in that category, we all earned a gold star.
One of the things that made our trip work so well was the advance planning. We had a loose schedule for each day, with time designated for work, some cool outings, free time, and meals, of course.
To add to the bonding aspect of our retreat, we were each matched up with another person to make a meal for the group. (Can you even really know someone until you’ve cooked with them? It’s next-level.)
When you go to the Smoky Mountains, one of your outings has to be a hike, right?
One afternoon, we spent a couple of hours exploring the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, where some of us pushed our limits of endurance – and others considered it a leisurely stroll. (No one died. It was fine. Totally fine.)
Another day we had the opportunity to visit the local aquarium or go to a moonshine tasting and explore Gatlinburg.
No matter what the activity, the point was to experience new things together. It created a camaraderie that carries over into our work and makes our entire team stronger and more cohesive.
Plus, it’s a whole lotta f-u-n.
You can probably think of a million reasons NOT to spend the time and money taking your squad on a retreat.
But we’re here to tell you that there’s infinite value in investing in your team. The after-effects most certainly trickle down to the work we do for our clients.
Getting to know each other better, taking the time to hear everyone’s input, and setting a course for the future together lays a solid foundation for a business to flourish.
Plus, when else will you hang with your co-workers in a hot tub?