Startup Retreats for a Remote Team
Part Three: Personal Growth from Team Development
In Part One of this series I covered the story behind NextChapter’s first retreat and the goals I had when planning this amazing team bonding adventure. Part Two was all about the infamous Team Day: the full agenda, activities and more. In this final piece of the series, I will talk about the other exercises and events on our schedule that helped us grow together as a team and also separately.
Progress = Happiness
“If you aren’t growing, you are dying… happiness that is true and lasting is quite simply this: progress.” – Tony Robbins
There is an important detail of company culture that often gets ignored: personal growth. Teams are only as good as each individual person on that team. For our retreat, I wanted to make sure we all spent time focusing on ourselves, together.
One activity, which received some skepticism at first, was StrengthsFinder 2.0. I ordered the book for everyone and gave instructions to read the first 30 pages then take the assessment online and send me their top 5 strengths so I could fill in a team strengths grid.
To everyone’s surprise, the assessment was very accurate and even fun. We met to discuss. Each person took turns talking about their top strength and how the assessment was for them. It was a great learning experience and we even found some gaps in the company that we hope to fill with new hires.
The team participated in a volunteer activity, where we went to Mid-Ohio Foodbank and helped sort food for the homeless in our community. Not only does volunteering help those in need, it helps you grow personally as well. Donating time to those less fortunate makes you feel good about what you can provide and opportunity to becoming more by giving something back.
Another way to have positive personal growth is through physical activity. During our company retreat we started a group spinning class together. We hopped on our bikes during lunch on Thursdays; the lights went dark and music blared loudly as the spinning instructor yelled into the microphone “If you’re out there, give me a WOOO!” The power of physical strength is personally motivating. After each class we were amped up and ready to take on the world!
After the NextChapter Retreat, we were all a bit more motivated and confident with ourselves and our abilities to work as a team. We felt a stronger connection to one another, which has been helping our company grow in many ways. Overall, the retreat was more than a team building exercise – it was a family gathering, a true success.