Last weekend we hosted our first company retreat for both LessFilms and LessEverything. It was a casual gathering of 10 of the 13 people involved daily in LessEverything.
Let’s start with the why.
I do not believe in term “company culture”, I think it should be called “The Company’s Attitude”. Attitude flows down from the top, the owners of the company. I want our employees to know we care about them, their skills, their family, and hobbies. I find each one of our team members very interesting as people, they’re human, not inventory to sell. They’re all extremely smart people who we’ve hand picked to build this thing we call LessEverything. Our coworkers are smart, funny and interesting; I want to know what they think about movies, hobbies and life.
For me a company retreat gives me time to understand each person further, what they love and how they feel appreciated. Knowing this gives me the ability to make sure our company delivers back the value they want in a work life.
Our retreat was casual, there was no agenda just hanging out. I took several walks and looked for opportunities to hangout one on one with them. It was low stress, lots of laughs and I think everyone has a relaxing, fun time together.
I generally feel closer to our team members, because I know them better. I hope they feel the same way about me.
*But make no mistake, a “retreat” will not fix your company nor make you more profitable. *
Our retreat was from Friday 2pm until Sunday at 11am, short and sweet. We choose St. George Island because I know the area, it’s quiet and beautiful. Plus it’s the offseason so rental rates are lower than normal. It was also an easy drive for most of the team.
We did hire a personal chef to be there, Dan Magner, who I’ve known for years did a killer job as the chef. If you’re bringing someone into your retreat like a chef, be sure they’ll fit well with the group. Dan felt like apart of the team, he was kind and funny.
If you wanted it to build a product you’d find a way to get time to work on it. If you really wanted to start that new hobby you’d sacrifice something to find the time and money to do it.
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