The last 18 months have inflicted mayhem on the workplace and the personal lives of each of us. As someone who has led, along with Mary Ann McLaughlin, a “virtual” company since its inception in 2013, I’ve felt this disruption up close and in a very personal way. Until last week.
Last week, Mary Ann and I were able to get together with our team in Tybee Island, GA, where we held a four-day strategic retreat. We worked on company strategy from 9 AM to 1 PM. Before and after we spent quality time with each other. We laughed. Hung out at the beach. Had a few cocktails. And laughed some more. It was truly special!
What made it so special?
We were together.
We believe we are one of the best virtual training companies on the planet. As good as we are, being virtual/on video is not the same.
I had not seen Mary Ann, Jeannie, Dominic or Susie in person since October 2019-- 21 months ago! I had not seen Joel and Robert since January 2020 and Jeff since 2016 (he left us for two years to teach at Ohio U and earn his MBA).
We all stayed under the same roof! We cooked for each other, ran with each other, walked on the beach, swam together, listened to tunes and watched the Olympics. It was so much fun! It was the power of team.
For Mary Ann and me, it was our time to give back. It was our time to re-recruit our team in a setting where we could all be ourselves and unwind a little.
We wanted to let them know how much we appreciated them and their efforts over the past 18 months and also make them an integral part of our future plans. This is a team that worked tirelessly through the pandemic. They worked training APAC until 2 AM and turned around and trained Europe at 7 AM. And they never complained! They put together detailed project plans covering thousands of training participants, built custom training materials and tip sheets and delivered high-quality virtual training at every single session!
We discussed our service offering, what we did well and where we could do better. We listed our initiatives and prioritized them. We did it as a team! We did it together, face to face. Everyone was heard.
Do not wait to re-recruit your team! Seize the day and find a way! You will not regret it!