NPR Staff Retreat 2022
The 2022 Nonprofit Resources Staff Retreat was nothing short of amazing. In the past year, Nonprofit Resources has doubled in size, and with so many new faces all working remotely, it was time to meet everyone three-dimensionally and in real life. Even with so many new faces, the gathering instantly felt like a family reunion. You can see how much our team has grown here!
There was no need for your traditional ice breakers. All we needed was a beautiful setting, a kitchen for gathering, some football on in the background, and some horses for entertainment.
As it turns out, not only does Nonprofit Resources have some of the most talented and smart people, but they are also maybe a tad bit competitive, albeit some more so than others. It did not take long before the games started. Whether it be Mario Kart, card games, corn-hole, or volleyball, nothing brings a team together like some good ole fashioned competition.
Since this was a work retreat, the games did have to take a break during the day when we turned our focus to team development and strategy. The highlight of these efforts was our cohort preparation and then our cohort groups the following day. For those unfamiliar with this process, a cohort is a group of people engaged in a shared set of experiences together. Each person has an opportunity to share challenges and roadblocks in their life for over an hour. In response, the cohort will ask strategic questions and provide feedback in a constructive manner to help guide responses. Our groups of 3 – 4 were assigned, and after a full day of much-needed training on this emotional process, we were ready to get in our groups. The training was crucial because it taught us how to listen properly, not instinctively give advice or judge, and most importantly, make sure the person who is opening up and in the “hot seat” is comfortable and feels safe talking to the group.
The cohort groups were the primary focus of the 2022 Nonprofit Resources Staff Retreat, and for good reason. Going into it felt weird and abnormal for what I considered to be a “work trip”, but after the training and hearing some examples, everyone, myself included, seemed to welcome the process. I cannot speak for everyone, but my personal experience in the cohort was nothing short of amazing. Not only was my group completely supportive and reassuring, but they were all also incredibly brave in sharing their personal struggles. In turn, this gave me the courage to be even more vulnerable when I was sharing my own challenges.
So, how does this help our work life and our team’s dynamics? Being vulnerable with the people around you makes your connections with each other incredibly stronger. It makes you all human. It also gives you an opportunity to share what you might be struggling with, with people you can trust, and these people can in turn offer you judgment-free advice and hold you accountable for the steps you take to better your situation. It makes you feel that whatever you are struggling with, small or large, personal or work-related, is valid and you are heard. Without going into too much detail, going through this experience was incredible. I look forward to seeing not only my personal growth from it but also the opportunity to check in with my group and see that we are all holding each other accountable.
With that being said, I cannot wait for the next retreat, and I want to thank the leadership team for allowing us to have these experiences. It is not every day you find a company that cares about everyone wholeheartedly and wants to see them succeed no matter what. I look forward to exploring the Black Hills and deepening my relationships with coworkers all over again in 2023.
Until next time!