By Becky White, Vice President, Organization Development
Sain Associates officers and team leaders were part of our first Leadership Retreat on May 2 and 3 at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, Alabama. We’ve been doing strategic planning retreats for years, but have never done a retreat focused solely on team building and leadership development within our senior management group. We began planning the retreat after our leadership realized we needed some time away from the office to strengthen our relationships so we could function better as a team.
The retreat began on Friday morning and extended through lunch on Saturday. Team leaders from our branch offices in Tennessee and Louisiana traveled to Alabama for the weekend, and Tom Wagner (of Wagner Consulting Group) led our activities. I served as the meeting planner and worked closely with Tom to tailor the discussion topics to our group’s needs.
As Tom and I began planning the retreat, we wanted to make sure there was plenty of time in the schedule for the group to have fun together. One of our activities included a raptor demonstration from the 4H Center’s Raptor Trek program. The highlight of that activity was an up-close encounter with an American bald eagle.
On Friday evening we paired up for a putt-putt golf competition. You could tell we are a competitive bunch by the amount of trash talking that could be heard on the course! There were trophies for the first and second place teams and a toy putt-putt game for the losing team. Jim Meads and Darren Hamrick turned in the winning score of 37 and were quite proud of their trophy.
These types of retreats are really valuable for helping a group realize their commonalities and see new and creative solutions for challenges they face. Hosting a retreat is a significant investment for any firm, but the dividends can be very significant when it comes to increased teamwork and productivity. I think all our leaders would agree that the investment of their personal time in the 2014 retreat was worthwhile.
Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states.