Why Invest in In-Person Company Events
At a time when hiring and retention are so critical, remote work, flexible schedules, and work/life balance are of high importance to team members. There is also an increased demand for roles that offer growth, opportunity, connection to company success, and association with positive company culture. Since it is a mix of these qualities that correlate to job satisfaction, it is important for companies to create a sense of belonging and camaraderie amongst teammates (especially those working from remote locations), while maintaining a connection to company goals and objectives. This can be a challenge when solely relying on video/audio calls and collaboration tools.
Despite the skepticism associated with devoting more time than necessary to meetings that may be inefficient or unjustified, there can be great value in teams getting together in one location for a company-wide event once or twice per year. This is even more pertinent with in-person work becoming less of the norm and face-to-face interaction becoming more of an exception than the rule.
Control Concepts recently held its annual two-day strategy meeting where all members of the team met at the NJ headquarters for an in-person interactive experience. The event consisted of instructive presentations that covered industry trends, business strategy and positioning, reflection on past results, and goals for the future.
Value of In-Person Collaboration
Some of the biggest values during the two days were identified during collaborative sessions of ideation, brainstorming, and open dialog about company strategy, efficiency opportunities, concepts for new products and services, and ad-hoc business and technical discussions. Since most team members’ relationships are primarily based on virtual interaction, there was an emphasis on icebreakers and social activities to promote familiarity and team bonding.
The success of the meeting was not limited to the eyes of leadership. It was echoed across the entire team. When everyone was asked to share what aspect of the event was most meaningful and rewarding to them, here’s how they replied:
“…having the opportunity to interact with my peers, share ideas, and collaborate on solutions that will bring value to the AV industry.” – Jonathan C.
“…seeing that multiple people in the company see similar things that need to be improved.” – Joe
“…getting together with the entire team to collaborate and bond. It gives us all an opportunity to feel more connected to the company itself and take meaningful ownership.” – Mike
“…seeing how immersed everyone is in our company, our culture, our values, and has committed to the teamwork and camaraderie it’s going to take to continue to make us an even greater success.” – Elizabeth
“…being able to meet everyone in person and see their personalities shine.” – Brittany
“…seeing the commitment and contribution of our technical team towards our marketing efforts. It was reassuring to see the synergy in the room. ” – Emily
“…getting to collaborate directly with all the team members, synchronize goals for the year, and brainstorm new ideas.” – Adam
“…getting together with everyone, share ideas and re-align our common goals and action items.” – David
“…fostered team discussion to generate collaborative ideas that are taken into consideration for company next steps.” – Victoria
“…the chance to sync up with the team and re-establish goals and motivation.” – Jonathan B.
While it can appear to be a conflicted decision to disrupt productivity; ask team members to travel; incur costs for transportation, meals, and accommodations; and commit to learning and engagement that may not provide immediate return there is a significant long-term benefit and reward to be gained from investing in a company-wide event. Aside from clarity on company goals, vision, and strategy, the team becomes galvanized through team building, bonding, and social interaction producing a renewed energy that translates into increased engagement, inspired contribution, and enhanced client care. Disregarding these opportunities not only results in a significant oversight, but can be detrimental to the growth, effectiveness, and health of a team.
Regardless of the role or position, most team members take pride in their work, want to feel part of a team, are eager to make a difference, and appreciate knowing that they are valued. All of these cultural points and more can be reinforced through an effective company-wide event. Although it may not appear to have a direct impact on financials, the greatest asset in service-based businesses is the team members. An investment in a team is an investment in a bright future!