At Lingo Live we pride ourselves in having healthy company culture, great cross functional teamwork and, of course, amazing after work playtime! However, these things don’t come easy. Creating a team that works together efficiently and effectively takes a lot of work, especially when your coworkers are spread across various locations. Lingo Live is committed to providing our customers with the tools to foster an environment where employees are heard, are great communicators and work seamlessly across teams. So, it’s only natural that we would also develop a productive, fun atmosphere for our team.
Here is the ultimate tip on how to establish a culture everyone can strive in; aka plan a work retreat!
First and foremost, it’s essential to have someone on your team who is dedicated to making everyone feel heard, taken care of, and appreciated. Our “someone” is Tracey, our Talent and Office Manager. Not only does she plan super fun after work bonding activities, she’s also responsible for making sure remote team members have a seamless experience connecting to weekly company wide meetings. She checks in with everyone on a regular basis, asking about our work environment and professional development, and she creates the best on-boarding experience and training that any of us have ever experienced. On a daily basis, she is amazing, but I think the whole team would agree that the highlight of her work these past few months has definitely been organizing our work retreat.
Our team has seen a significant growth in a very short time, and the leadership team felt it was important to get everyone in one place for a four day trip. The only goal was to make sure that everyone had fun and was given the opportunity to get to know each other better. Both goals were met.
When planning a work retreat for a team made up of a variety of individuals, Tracey feels it’s most important to take people’s needs and interests into consideration. From dietary restrictions to sleeping arrangements, it’s important to consider individual situations. As for interests, there were several fun activities to choose from, and Tracey made an effort to accommodate everyone.
In her own words, Tracey said, “The most rewarding experience was seeing the whole team come together and really get to know each other. The hope was that we would have the opportunity to bond and we weren’t disappointed, and we walked away having a better understand of who are coworkers were as people.”
Our team flew in from Tokyo, San Francisco and Spain. Once everyone met up in the NYC HQ, the fun started by cramming into buses headed to upstate New York. After a distillery tour and whiskey tasting, bonfire nights, rope courses, hiking, boat rides and dancing in the barn, it’s safe to say that the team has bonded! Our stomachs hurt from laughing too much and we all need to catch up on our sleep before heading back to work.
Everyone on the team had great things to say about the retreat, but here are some of the highlights:
“When I think of the retreat, I always think of one moment, my favorite moment. I was getting ready to go downstairs for dinner and I thought, “shoot, I should rush down so I get a seat next to someone good”. As soon as that thought popped into my head I realized – there’s not one single person I wouldn’t want to share my dinner with. Dinner was a time when we were all together in one place and I knew that no matter who I was sitting next to I was bound to have a meaningful conversation, form a connection, and walk away having learned something new. That, I realized, is why I loved this company. Plus, the moment was coupled with one of my favorite things in the world – food!” Zolo, our newest hire on the Learning Team and world traveller.
“I found out that Natalya, our designer, is a hardcore hiker and an amazing singer. She was extremely driven to reach the top of the mountain,and then she shamed us all with a bad-ass Karaoke performance that night.” said Ben, our director of operations, Learner Success and crazed soccer fan.
“I learned we have more in common than I thought. It makes sense how our company culture leads to growth because we have so many similar interests.” Lemari, Learner Success Manager and sexiest man alive.
“This was my first company retreat and I loved it! We had an opportunity to get to know one another on a deeper level and create meaningful relationships. I learned about my colleagues’ passions, their life goals and what motivates them. I can now connect with them about work and also about their personal lives which brings us closer together as we work to accomplish goals we agreed on as a business. I had great relationships before the retreat, but I feel now as if we are all connected and have a deeper understanding of each other.” Amjed, Customer Success Manager and ultimate smooth talker.
Let’s do it again next year!
— Emi Agg, Marketing Manager at Lingo Live