Staff Retreat 2023

The Wher initiative annual staff retreat is an important part of the organization’s strategy to promote staff bonding and generate new ideas for the year. This is pivotal to the staff’s harmony and productivity because as the saying goes ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy (& Jill a dull girl). Members of staff beamed with anticipation for this year’s staff retreat which was held in the Aveon Hotel, Guzape, F.C.T, Abuja. The 2023 staff retreat commenced on the 29th of January 2023 when all staff arrived and checked into their various rooms. On the 30th of January 2023, the retreat proper started.

The staff retreat began with all staff showing up for a walk up and down the hills which was led by Segun Famodimu and Oniyide Olutoni. The 30-minute activity was accompanied by music and good vibes from the staff and the Executive Director. Staff was dispatched to reassemble at 11:00 am after breakfast.

Once Staff reassembled at 11 AM the Executive Director checked in on staff members to ascertain their preparedness for the retreat. The activities of the day commenced with the year 2022 in retrospect. Where the administration department (HR) and the communications department reviewed the year 2022 and the prospects for the year 2023. The session for the day concluded at about 4 pm. As the team was urged to come out for bonding activity by the poolside to chill and unwind for the day.

Day 2

The second day began on a deep reflection mode as the Executive Director moderated the poem reading and insight session. This is a reflective session based on the different poems sent to team members prior to the retreat, to read, digest and reflect on. Six team members were able to present their poems and its insights on this day which helped shed light on individual personality goals and struggles.

At the end of each presentation, Akudo reiterated her reasons for sending the individual poems to each staff member and the messages she intended to pass to all team members which is to understand that we are all not alone in our struggles.

The day ended with the Programs and Finance Departments giving their account of the previous year and plans for the year in view. Lunch was called and that brought the day to an end.

Day 3

Poem presentation continued as not all team members were able to present the previous day due to time after which, the finance team addressed the staff on budgets plan for 2023. The team also deliberated on the best models of approach to event planning for the organisation to ensure events are well planned and vendors sorted to avoid the “fire-brigade” approach that usually has the team exhausted and burnt out after a program due to lack of early planning, it was then agreed that programs and events be planned and sorted at most three week to the D-days.

The later part of the day had the team plan the year by itemizing the events and programs of the year under the following categories:

  • Funded projects
  • Commemorative Celebrations
  • Anticipated Projects
  • Movement Building and Partnership
  • Free-To-Be-Me

Functions under the above categories were further tabled in columns thus:

  • Project Title
  • Activities
  • Assigned responsibilities
  • Funders’ Info
  • Timelines
  • Lessons Learned
  • Partners

WHER Initiative activities for the year was then planned under these tables and column, roles were assigned to individuals and departments and activities of any particular event was itemized and recorded in the annual calendar for reference purposes.

The planning took the rest of the retreat days where the team only break for tea and lunch until the time for the day was called by the Executive Director.

The retreat created a good atmosphere for Team bonding for the Staff and management team, allowed us share meals and spaces so beyond planning the year it availed team members the opportunity to see each other from a closer range outside the regular 8 eight hours every day, such as the morning walks, sharing all meals of the day together, living next doors to each other and chilling in the evening around the pool to hot suya, music and drinks to cap the days.

It is also worthy to note that despite the announcement that dinner would not be catered for during the retreat days the management and planning team made intentional efforts to provide three square meals, this is despite the tea break.

The retreat was concluded on Friday, 3rd February, 2023 and all members of the team were urged to vacate the venue on Saturday, 4th February, 2023 after a sumptuous breakfast.

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