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The benefits of organising staff retreats

Reflections Resources

04.08.2022

Earlier this year, EQI hosted a staff retreat in Mparntwe/Alice Springs: the first for many of our staff who have joined the team during the pandemic! We have two staff currently living in hashtag Mpartnwe and were super excited to have the rest of the team fly in for a week.

Staff retreats can be full of opportunities for connection, learning and and rejuvenation. Here's eight benefits of organising staff retreats.

04.08.2022

Group photo of The Equality Institute staff with some members of the Tangentyere Women's Family Safety Group posing outside at Yeperenye/Jessie Gap, in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Group photo of The Equality Institute staff with some members of the Tangentyere Women's Family Safety Group posing outside at Yeperenye/Jessie Gap, in the Northern Territory of Australia.

We are privileged to plan for staff retreats and prioritise them in our budget. Whilst they are a privilege, the list of benefits is long. Here’s just some of them:

Connection

We’ve been working remotely for over two years and have onboarded over ten people during this time. A staff retreat is an opportunity for everyone to get to know one other, chat and connect outside of teams, build trust and develop true friendships.

Rest and rejuvenation

Giving your staff a break in a way that feels meaningful is never a bad idea – it allows them to recharge and rejuvenate before coming back to work, hopefully with a little more balance and energy.

Big-picture thinking

It’s easy to get focused on individual roles and responsibilities without seeing the bigger picture. Coming together in-person allows staff to see how their work interacts with, and impacts, other people – and might even open opportunities for collaboration! People want to find meaning and create purpose in their work, and bigger-picture thinking can support this.

Inspiration

Stepping out of the usual work environment can bring floods of inspiration! Experiencing new things as a team, and disrupting routine, is powerful to get the brain working in new and creative ways.

Partnership-building and two-way learning

Using your staff retreat to connect with other organisations, individuals, or partners in your field is a fantastic way to develop those relationships and learn more. The EQI Staff Retreat 2022 was an opportunity for us to connect with, strengthen relationships and learn from our partners in the Northern Territory, Tangentyere Aboriginal Council, Women's Safety Services of Central Australia, Central Australian Women's Legal Service, Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit, and Kunga Stopping Violence (NAAJA).

Modelling generosity

It’s a privilege to be able to go on a staff retreat, we know. And yet by modelling generosity with your staff, it allows them to be generous in return. Happy, supported staff are more likely to work hard and connect with their work – it’s a win-win!

Celebration

How often do you get the opportunity to reflect on, and celebrate, your achievements? A staff retreat is the perfect time to make space for this celebration and a lovely way to show recognition to staff for their hard work.

Planning

It can be a great idea to utilise your staff retreat to plan and strategise! You’re together in person, which is the easiest way to bounce ideas off one another and get into some deep thinking.