This has been quite the year, right? Who would have thought that the year 2020 would bring so much unknown like a worldwide pandemic? We had planned on having our 3rd Annual Team Retreat in person this year and to say that we were excited about it would be an understatement. Our team retreats tend to be our get-away time from our responsibilities, kids (yes, we love them but momma needs a break every now and then), and our everyday realities. The team retreat provides us time to unplug and refresh and grow together as a team. We were crushed to hear that we couldn’t see each other in-person this year since this is the only time we get to as we are a remote team. We wanted to be safe and understanding of everyone’s health since we understand how serious the Coronavirus is and how many people are being affected by it. So what did we do? Just like everything else this year, pivot (Or as Ross from Friends says, PIVOT!) We hosted a fun virtual team retreat this year on Zoom! To get some inside scoop on how to host a virtual team retreat for your company this year, keep reading.
What’s the key to any great get-together? A good theme of course! We didn’t want to host a snooze-fest through Zoom. It’s hard enough to pay attention for longer than an hour online so we wanted to bring the fun! We sent out a questionnaire for our team to vote on two themes for our retreat and Disney Day and the Luau theme won. We sent each of our team members a Disney shirt from their favorite Disney movie, a pair of Mickey ears to match, and some caramel popcorn from Disney world (if you have not had Disney World popcorn oh my goodness you are missing out, order some.) For the Luau theme, we sent our team members a lei, a coconut cup, some fruit punch mix, and key lime coconut patties (we also highly recommend trying these, so much that here is the link to buy them!) We celebrated with a theme per day for our two-day retreat. It was so much fun to get dressed up and see everyone’s festive gear! So take some time and create a questionnaire for your team and see what themes they may want to have and then plan from there. It will take your virtual team retreat to the next level!
Another crucial part of a team retreat is obviously the yummy food you get to eat! We went to the Biltmore last year and had some amazing meals! So it got tricky when trying to figure out how we were going to top that. We came to the conclusion that we still wanted to provide a couple of meals for our team and decided to go with DoorDash deliveries. This actually worked super well for us! Our Client Care Director reached out to the bookkeepers and asked them to place their address in DoorDash and find a meal for breakfast and a meal for lunch from a local restaurant. Our Client Care Director then ordered the meals for everyone and had them delivered to their house at a certain time so we could all chat and eat our meals as if we were staying somewhere and meeting up. Pro tip: Tell everyone that you have to stay unmuted for the whole time you are eating to avoid a silent lunch of watching people eat food, haha!
Any good meeting needs to be a good balance of team building, learning, and having fun in our opinion at least! Yes, that’s right- bookkeepers like to have fun! We would start either with a team-building activity or a game and then go into our training or vice versa. We tried to break things up throughout the day to keep everyone engaged. One of the best resources we can recommend to you is Kahoot, a virtual trivia platform. Our team had so much fun with this! This platform allows everyone to play a game of trivia no matter where you are. You can either create your own trivia games or use ones that have been made by others. For our Disney Day, we played Disney trivia and upped the stakes with some Amazon gift cards for the winners! For our team training, we built out a trivia game full of questions about our mission, vision, and business character as a team and quizzed our team on it (of course we had a $25 Amazon gift card on the line as well which they were excited about.) We found this way to not only be fun and engaging but also a great way to go over our core values in a fresh way that avoided a power-point presentation. So when planning your training for your team retreat, take some time to think outside of the box on how to get the same content or even fresh content explained in an innovative way!
We are not pros at hosting a virtual team retreat by any means, but we hope these tips help you if you are planning a virtual team retreat for your business soon! We weren’t really sure what to expect and we were a little worried about boxes getting there on time and food getting delivered correctly and we had a few difficulties but for being all over the U.S. it went pretty smoothly. Tip: not everything is going to be perfect, you may get a little off the time schedule, and you may talk over one another in the Zoom call, but the fact is that your team is together and your team sees you prioritizing them! Our team said that they had fun and enjoyed that we still hosted something this year to get to know one another better. We are so ready for next year where we can hopefully see each other in person! We are hoping to make it a big one since it will be our 10th anniversary as a business! The girls are suggesting Hawaii but I am letting them know that probably won’t happen but they can keep dreaming, haha!