Retreats are the perfect tool for onboarding new teammates: a concentrated time of getting to know the team in both a work environment as well as just having fun and sharing experiences.
This was especially important for Miami. Our team size had almost doubled since our last one, so the “rooks” represented almost half our team. Our goal was for each rook to feel as much of a part of Knack as Eric and I.
We tried a few things to help: we sent the rooks down a day early for an opening dinner where we could share our team history; we encouraged them to share their stories over our team dinners; and we recounted some of the vet’s highlights to get everyone up to speed on the always important inside jokes.
Ultimately, we trusted our team to do the hard work for us. We knew that just sharing time together would be the best way to pull everyone together. We saw this with each new hire during our remote hangouts and knew that it would be accelerated in person.
In the end, everyone came together without a hitch. We don’t see any rooks or vets anymore; we’re all simply team Knack.
Laura and I ended up arriving in at FLL around the same time (I was coming in from San Francisco and she was arriving from Salt Lake City) and we were able to track each other down and carpool to the retreat house in Miami. On our way through downtown Miami, we got stuck in rush hour traffic while the rest of the team was about to head to the restaurant so we through an audible and went directly to Peacock Garden Cafe early. We brought our giant bags with us and hit up the bar while we waited for everyone else to arrive.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when everyone arrive, but about one and a half drinks in, the rest of the crew showed up and we got taken to a private room in the back of the venue. The group consisted of the founding team, as well as all the team members that had been Hired after the last retreat (about 6 of us newbies in total). The dinner at the Peacock was a great way to gain some historical context on the company and an opportunity to meet some of those folks that you’ve worked with online for months, but had never seen in real life.
During the dinner, we were able to cut loose and wind down from the long day of traveling that had all brought us to Miami. The founding team told us the story of how Knack started and how it’s turned into what it is now. We also got a chance to talk about self-driving cars, raw fish, and the owner of the establishment gave us a thorough historical breakdown of the restaurant and it’s (seemingly tenuous) relation to Jim Morrison.
Overall, it was a great way to get introduced to the team and settle down in the city we’d be spending the next few days in.