Last week (almost) the entire Rare Beauty Brands (RBB) team traveled to Arizona for our first annual RBB Summit. This was our way to address the WFx blues.
As a company we’ve fully embraced the Work From Anywhere (WFx) transition over the past several years. A the same time, we feel that it is super-important to periodically get the whole team together in-person. WFx has been super-liberating for RBB: our team loves the flexibility and freedom it gives them, and WFx has opened up our talent pool far beyond our old single-location operations. And frankly we’re at least as, if not more, productive than we were before.
That said, we all feel a little cut off from human contact and it can get a little old ‘commuting’ to the office in the basement, or extra bedroom, or dining room table.
Our primary goal for the summit was to ‘up-level’ our relationships from squares on a Zoom call to actual, living, breathing friendships. I believe that companies need to be conscious about creating culture, whether they work from a central office or from home. And I’ve written before that trust is the secret to making WFx work. Put those two insights together, and we felt strongly that the trust and relationships would be optimized with an in-person get together.
In keeping with our company name, we wanted the experience to be a bit more ‘rare’ than the typical, “stay at a hotel, eat the rubber chicken dinner, go to the same bland events” kind of corporate retreat. So we stayed in cool AirBnB mansions and then created a custom agenda with each of the three core days built around our core company values: LIFT, DARE, SHINE.
Our kick-off event was possibly the highlight of the whole trip, which featured One Last Talks from three brave souls. Fun/social activities included group volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, river kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, a Pink Jeep Tour in Sedona and of course, golf and spa. We worked a little bit too ;-), with presentations on each of our three key brands and a review of the company’s vision, strategy and plans. See below for pictures from the various work, social and fun activities. And a huge thank you to our event planner, Stacie Reiser who made it all happen!
As we were leaving Arizona, at least a few people came up to me and said something like, “This was the best corporate retreat ever!” And since we’ve gotten back, we’ve had at least three requests to d0 the Summit every six months instead of every 12.
But just as importantly, in our anonymous post-event survey, the RBB Summit had an NPS rating of 84 (for perspective, Ritz Carlton’s NPS is 78). And while we can always make improvements, the following comments typified the sentiment:
Honestly thought the trip was a lot of fun and was great to finally meet everyone after only seeming some people on zoom for the past 2 years. Got to really connect and understand peoples’ personalities outside of work.
The trip was a great opportunity to get to know one another. Through the talks and activities it truly highlighted what a great environment RBB has to offer.
I felt so grateful that the company would make such a huge investment in us bonding together and having a good time via the week in AZ. That week also made me realize what a great culture we have of people who work hard, are passionate, but are also fun. We have a lot of different personalities, but they all bring something unique and special to the table. We also all feel really comfortable with each other after the week in AZ.
Overall, I’d say, Mission Accomplished.
And if you are interested in planning your own Company retreat and would like to review our agenda or just ask questions, reach out to me on Linkedin!