How Our First Residential Workation Helped Us in Internal Branding and Team Bonding
Wish to succeed in a better way?
How about work & vacay together with your team? Yes that is an opportunity to learn & unlearn in one space while creating moments – that lead to increased productivity and creativity.
That’s what we lived on 30TH FEB’s first-ever residential work-cation.
It was a great way to bond, refresh, and collaborate in a new environment. We not only brought the whole team to IBIS Gurgaon, away from their usual work environment/city but we also planned the entire staycation around learning, unlearning, and relearning as a team. Putting the cross-functional teams to exciting activities – from playing Drum Circles and training activations for understanding the significance of team coordination to create vision boards, it was refreshing to the core.
Every work pattern has its pros and cons. The way human lives and work have evolved post the pandemic and that is why we felt there is a need for a residential work-cation. There is a culture shift and a major shift in the workforce, which is why we planned this as our first-of-its-kind team event.
We wanted to underline and emphasise the importance of:
- Team Bonding & Coordination
- Open Conversations to discuss & solve good problems
- Meeting & discover the people beyond daily tasks
- Co-existing and co-share
- Sync the organisation’s vision with everyone contributing to it
Agenda: Assessment, Planning, and Action
How did we plan to achieve the agenda as listed above?
We organised communication workshops, and team-building activities to signify how coordination and communication can be the real game changers in performance and productivity.
Weaving the agenda and people together was a task in itself and this required assessment and planning both before and after the event. So we worked closely with the external trainers and helped them with the training need analysis – from team strengths and weaknesses to the lags as individual professionals and collectively as a vertical.
Did we grow stronger as a team with a retreat? yes!
Did we have takeaways as a company, the goods, okays, and areas of improvement? Definitely yes!
Our meet-up event taught us that work-cations require a good balance of creativity, proactive team members, a good attitude, and your team’s enthusiasm.
The planning and action were woven together well in advance as we were keen on the assessments carved around it. I was aware that it is the most significant part of business forecasting and growth in the year ahead.
I am glad we could do the assessment right and could solve many good problems together. Additionally, we could take some very important decisions in the direction of Culture Building and Internal Branding for 30TH FEB.
Here are our key takeaways:
Break the ice – to flow like water
As a company grows bigger, it can take some time before you know everyone personally. Especially when you don’t work on the same projects or work from remote locations.
We love to keep our team tight-knit, which is why we asked all new team members to introduce themselves in an open platform – and not on a Zoom Call.
Putting new team members in the spotlight and letting them be the star of their own story. We were surprised by everyone’s hidden talents, passions and likings. A session in which people talked about themselves (not professionally) and disclosed things that we would not have known otherwise.
Mix-up cross-functional teams – and ideas will pour in
For 30TH FEB, we asked pairs of employees from different departments to come up with ideas for its growth. They not only got together but came up with some brilliant ideas on “Brand We,” in this case, we learned that we should always look for ways to connect different teams and let people present their ideas to the entire company so everyone can learn from each other’s perspectives.
Have fun with team-building activities – to create team synergies
From experience, we know that the best activities are those in which every team member feels involved. That’s why we had the idea to organise a Percussion Session. Drum jams are an effective team-building activity for corporate teams that reduce stress and increase synergy.
The result was better than anyone expected! The energy was displayed, helped build a common rhythm within teams, worked in collaborations, and had a breakthrough of inhibitions. The activity not only increased our confidence but fostered a community spirit in our team.
Team communication – leading to productive discussions
An organisation’s communications practices must be clear, concise, and consistent in order to improve employee engagement. A Business Communication Workshop during the work-cation not only allowed us “to speak our mind” but speak our hearts too – at the end of the day it’s all about effective communication.
Effective team communication cleared our doubts and helped us brainstorm ideas with each other. It also created a sense of belonging among the team members – helping each one of us engage & communicate better & louder.
Have your vision in place – for a clearer roadmap
Working on our vision boards – for our professional, personal, and 30TH FEB goals – was another great experience that we wanted to have with our team. Like old school, we picked our stationaries, chart papers, and magazines to create our VISION BOARDS OF TOMORROW.
What a session. We received a sense of direction, we gained clarity on the paths we are on, and we clarified our visions – the mission of progress.
Though it was a surprise for all the employees since the observations were not announced, we had our winners:
Dhruv: Discovery of the team (We were in awe of his art skills and connection abilities)
Priyadarshini: Brand Basics & Belongingness
Arun: Consistent and Compliant
Vikas: Quick Learner (announced after 3 weeks of assessment post work-cation)
Apart from bonding, knowing each other, and strengthening our positives, this work-cation helped us take a break from our usual routine and recharge our batteries. Increased productivity was achieved while the team came up with innovative ideas, which they would not have come up with in their usual working environment.
Seeing the response and raised spirits we made 2 employee announcements to incentivise the performers consistently,
1. Time Tracker of the Month
2. Star of the Quarter
Considering the titles speak for themselves, I am not getting into the explanations. The work-cation was in one word AWESOME! For me as an entrepreneur, it was a checked-out manifested affirmation. I had two words GRATITUDE and CONTENTMENT.
And a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all of you who not only witnessed our journey throughout but also joined hands and become a part of it.