Looking for the best way to motivate your team? One word – workation.
Okay, technically it’s a combination of two words, “work” + “vacation”. It’s a paid work trip that can be combined with aspects of taking a vacation.
Since part of our team works remotely, it’s super important for us to meet up. So we decided to do 2 weeks of workation every year. Last winter the whole team went to Bali (you may read about our experience in Bali here). This summer we all met in Lithuania, the country where most of our team is based.
Here is what my colleagues wrote on Facebook after the workation:
I guess we did something right.
Today I want to share what worked and why.
I do believe that shared experiences connect us to each other much more than any shared consumption does.
This is why we made dinner together...
Balanced on the slack-line...
Tried SUP boarding and meditation...
And traveled together around Lithuania.
All these things are now stories that connect us. Shared experiences are what bond people together and create long lasting, trustworthy relationships. This is how a group of people feels more like a team, as opposed to just a group of colleagues, right?
A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.
Moreover, researchers show that completely new experiences or a change of environment cause strong activity in the midbrain area. That means our brain is more eager to learn and be creative after taking in novel stimuli.
What new stimuli have you tried to introduce to your team lately? I’d love to hear your ideas.
After you get creative together, it's time to work.
The most important trait in deciding to hire someone at MailerLite is the strong desire to work at our company. We are all connected by the same goal — to make MailerLite better.
This is why we asked all the team members to make presentations on the same topic: “How to Improve MailerLite”. I was amazed by the ideas that people had. From bug fixing to organising and documentation, suggestions for events and improvements for our About Page on the website.
The best part? One week after our workation ended, some of the ideas have already been implemented. This week we will have board game night. Next month we will start volunteering at a local non-profit shop. And we are already working on implementing new pricing.
Opportunity to offer changes in the company keeps the team interested in the business. Especially when they can and will implement those changes.
We are social beings from the beginning. And even studies of cooperation show that cooperation between individuals lights up reward centers of the brain. Because when you think about it, people are happiest when in flow, when they’re absorbed in something out in the world, when they’re with other people, when they’re active.…There is a profound need to belong.
Can you guess what part of workation our team enjoyed the most?
The Q&A session.
This was a time when everyone could discuss how MailerLite works and what was needed. With a room full of questions, a laptop, and a projector screen, we went to work.
The session was super useful for the support team to deepen their knowledge about the product and understand the reasoning behind the decisions. I am sure we will repeat the session online.
It’s essential to share our own knowledge with our colleagues.
Developers and designers digging in on how things work behind the scenes, customer support giving feedback on what things confuse most users…This is how the whole team gets on the same page.
Have you ever sat down and done this with your team? If so, how did it go?
Having guests is one more opportunity to have new experiences. To see the world from a different point of view and learn new things. Throughout the week we invited guests in our field of work to come into our office. We learned tons of new things about how others are working, their perspective on the market, and also heard some cool stories.
Will we continue to do this? Yes!
We have already created a board on Trello where we share topics that we’d love to learn more about and list of guests that we’d like to meet at the office.
Who would be your dream guest in your office?
The most important component of a workation is the people. You may bring the whole company to a beautiful place like the Maldives and hate every single minute of the trip.
Want to have a great workation? Hire the right people. People that share the same values and have a strong desire to work at your company. People that will bring you up when you feel down.
Be a human resource driven organisation. If you truly care about your employees, they will take care of the customers, and each other.
Hiring and managing people for business is just like sports...The team that stays together usually beats the team with superstars that were put together for one season.
I am super happy and proud to work with the dream team. Thank you, guys!
Now, we’re wondering… have we got you thinking about investing in a workation for your team? What does your dream workation look like?
I’m Ilma, COO at MailerLite. I love seeing our customers succeed. When they win, we win (like being named one of the top 5 fastest growing SaaS companies). Email is my passion, although I took a rather unusual path. Before MailerLite, I worked in finance and art, which turned out to be the perfect mix for marketing.