The pandemic has changed peoples lives in a number of ways. One thing that I think it has made a lot of us do, especially as business owners is revaluate priorities, missions, objectives, and just all the inner workings of your business. The pandemic served as a kind of horrendous, challenging, at times painful “retreat.” Since I am in the vacation business, my co-founder and I decided to take this concept of a retreat to the next level: well, to the Maldives to be precise. Since we were there researching various resorts, we knew that it would be the perfect location to reassess everything that we are doing with Zoom Vacations and to plan ahead for travel, post pandemic.
At Zoom Vacations, I am usually on the side of being the one providing a service for my guests. One of the side benefits of this retreat was that it gave me the opportunity to really focus on what it is like on the other side. As someone receiving a service, what things mattered to me…What things resonated and made a difference in my vacation experience. My business partner, Bryan Herb and I were able to discuss these things informally throughout the trip, and then had formal meetings as well.
For me the most exciting aspects of the retreat was our discussions about where we saw Zoom Vacations going next. We have so many ideas for new locations, unique events, and special touches, and we are excited to be back and put them in place. Traveling with Zoom Vacations is going to be better than ever.
One of the other interesting things about our retreat in the Maldives, was that we engaged in teambuilding activities, without realizing that that is what we were doing. For instance, when we kayaked together on a translucent kayak. If you have ever kayaked with someone, you know that it takes a lot of teamwork so that you are not fighting against each other or going in circles–kind of like people can do at work, actually. Although the travel business is very exciting, it is also very stressful and being away from the office gave us a a chance to laugh more and take things less seriously.
Other times we were snorkeling, and so were partially there to keep an eye out for the other and also to point out exciting things that we saw under the sea. We gave each other the opportunity to have each other’s back and a number of ways, something else that is essential for a company to run efficiently and productively.
I know that most people are not able to go to the Maldives as a retreat, and believe me, I am so thankful for the opportunity, and that we maximized the opportunity in this way. That being said, I think most companies could benefit from doing retreats, and of course many already do. I think that the essential component is that it needs to take place away from the job site, preferably in someplace inspirational in nature.
Get away from the same old nuances and retreat to new ideas.