Just recently the Elevate United team spent a few days lakeside in order to take some time to look at the company on an individual and team level. I am just an intern, but found it was beneficial for me to go and participate, here’s why:
1. Get to know those you work with
How well do you really know those you work with? For me, I didn’t know anyone well before attending our retreat. As an intern, and a new one at that, I felt like I barely knew people’s names. Considering our office culture doesn’t require us to be in the office, there was little interaction with coworkers outside weekly team meetings. By going on the retreat and participating in various company activities, as well as just having conversations in the evenings when the activities for the day were done, I got to know those who I work with on a professional and personal level.
2. See how the company is learning and growing
Elevate United is still considered a “start up” and so while I, as an intern, am constantly learning because of my lack of experience, the company itself is still learning and growing because we’re still so young. For me, it was so great to see that everyone was interested in taking a step back and saying “This is what we’ve been doing well, and this is what we haven’t been excelling at that needs to change.” Admitting that the company doesn’t have it all figured out, and that we’re all still learning is an encouraging environment to be working in. The “Start, Stop, Continue” exercise seemed to be the most beneficial take away, and it’s something that I can even use on a personal level. Asking “What do we need to start doing? What do we need to stop doing? and What needs to continue?” Is an incredibly beneficial way to evaluate how you’re working and how different things you’re doing, or not doing, are either needed, hurtful, or necessary to be more efficient in your work, moving forward.
3. Learn something new
On the Elevate team we have many talented people with a variety of skills. Different sessions on our retreat involved members of the Elevate team talking to everyone about a book or concept they either knew about, or had expertise in, that they felt could benefit the group. A few of my favorite presentations, or “sessions”, included Ryan, one of our designers, when she presented on design and how the way something is designed can cause us to feel or perceive something in a specific way. And when Ben presented on the book The War of Art. Learning more about The War of Art, everyone was invited into thinking about areas of resistance in their lives that are keeping them from doing things they really want to do.
These small sessions allowed us to learn from those we work alongside, and to learn
about a topic or concept that could be new or different to us. I felt every session on the retreat was beneficial and informative.
Just this week, in our team meeting, getting another retreat scheduled on the calendar was mentioned. I have no doubt the next retreat will be equally as beneficial, if not more so, than the most recent one.