A few weekends ago, we had a company retreat for Tribridge team members. There was a lot of debate among the executive leadership team about whether or not we should hold the event. Weekends are precious. Would people be willing to give up their own time away from work to talk about corporate strategy? Amidst a lot of controversy and at the risk of upsetting people, we decided to go for it. And it was totally worth it.
Team members flew in from more than 20 cities for the retreat on Clearwater Beach. After the first meeting, everybody was fired up and excited. I realized that our team members were thirsty to know more about what is coming next. We are a fast-paced company, and everyone needs to stay abreast of the latest technology and where we are headed. We talked about everything – cloud computing, industry focus, financials.
That night we had a dinner on the beach under a tent. The weather was great, but the conversations were even better. I think people were more excited than anything to connect with coworkers who live in different cities. So many of our discussions are done over the phone or through email or IM. It’s nice to get to know the person on the other end – that he/she has two kids and is really cool. It helps to have a bond with someone when you’re working on a project together.
After another day of breakout meetings and Q&A, we all went back to work. The following week I received at least 50 emails from team members telling me how great the weekend was and how much they appreciated it. There is no debating next year. I’m already thinking about February 2012!