The Ideas and Insights Get Bigger in Texas!
In January Soliant Consulting’s entire team descended onto the City of the Violet Crown for our annual offsite. Our 2019 retreat was our first time in Texas, and Austin did not disappoint. We spent the week trading insights, sharing ideas, and learning more about our fellow team members. Of course, we also had quite a bit of fun together, as we always do.
Because our team comprises four offices and dozens of remote employees across the globe, a primary goal for our annual offsite is for team members to meet new colleagues and reconnect with old friends.
Each of our offices conducts a session on their past year’s achievements, major projects, key clients, and goals for the upcoming year. While most of our projects loop in team members from various locations, the offsite allows us to celebrate the specific accomplishments of each office. This helps everyone understand others’ work better as well as the growth and planned direction for each office.
Leaders for each of our service areas – FileMaker, Salesforce, and custom business solutions – also have their own presentation over the course of the week. We discuss new strategies, certifications team members earned, advances in projects, and industry changes. Our technical team shows off their work, and the rest of us learn how to take their work even further in the months to come.
And, of course, we spend a significant chunk of our time outlining the year ahead. During our days in Austin, we reflected on the tremendous progress we made in 2018 and brainstormed how to continue the momentum into the year ahead. Stay tuned for our rollout of many new initiatives in 2019!
What really makes Soliant special is our people. Over the last 15 years, our team has grown by leaps and bounds. Every new addition adds more convivial creativity, versatility, and adventurous thought to the company. We aim to celebrate one another and our differences through a variety of team activities at our offsite.
Sure, team-building is a crucial component of our annual retreat. But you won’t find any trust falls at our offsite. This year the team held Soliant Olympics. This event featured a push-up race, taste-testing, archery, trivia, mathletics, and more. Our team spent the afternoon in friendly competition, learning more about one another and cheering each other on.
To further celebrate our team members and recognize their many strengths outside of work, we host an annual talent show. Due to the diverse genius sprinkled across the company, we have quite an eclectic show. Music tends to dominate the night – from banjo, guitar, and piccolo players to incredible vocal performances, both solo and cross-office duets. We even had a powerful opera performance.
Many of our acts are also infused with humor. This year we had a sketch with an airline-themed spin full of team members (showcasing talent in coordination alone!) and two droll and bespoke songs about experiences at Soliant. We also enjoyed a tribute to the experience of moving from much-loved hardware to the cloud.
We also watched impressive dancing, listened to a brilliant story, and experienced rappelling from a helicopter through a colleague’s eyes. All the while, we ate delicious treats from several culinary geniuses on the team. Our talent show is a wonderful way for our team members to learn about colleagues’ strengths outside of the 9-to-5. All of us look forward to it every year.
We always wrap up the last official night of the offsite with an awards ceremony. During this time, we honor team members for extraordinary achievements over the last year and anniversaries of their time at Soliant. (We have many veterans, as we have very low turnover!) This is a great way to recognize individuals’ contributions.
Our unofficial last day includes a team-wide volunteering activity, and this year, half the company extended their trip to participate. The team worked with the Jeremiah Program, an organization that works to transform families from poverty to prosperity through education and employment. We spent several hours cleaning their Child Development Center and enjoyed giving back to the local community that had given us such a wonderful week.
Into 2019 and Beyond
Our annual offsite is much more than an annual planning meeting. It empowers our team with new insights and allows us to connect with one another outside of the typical office setting. We are excited for the year ahead and are already looking forward to the 2020 retreat.