3 reasons why ‘busier than ever’ is the best time for a team retreat

by Richenda Vermeulen
March 31, 2022

After two years of lockdowns, teams are playing catch up. Short-staffed in a fiercely competitive job market, busier than ever – this is the worst time for a team retreat, right? 


Earlier this month, I took my team of 35 to the Australian surf paradise of Torquay. Think pristine, world-class beaches, amazing vegetarian food, golf, yoga and (yes) surfing…

It wasn’t just a nice thing to do. It was the strategic thing to do. Here’s why.

1. Growth needs culture. Culture takes investment.

Work culture does not develop by accident. It requires time, effort and budget wisely spent. 

As a team, we split our four days away into two days focused on work and two for being outside together. Every item on our agenda was purposefully chosen. 

We carved out time to discuss our team culture and how we work together. We invited one of our clients to come and tell us about the positive impact they’re having and how our work connects to that

(We did lots of fun activities to connect with each other, too.) 

Bottom line: it paid off. 80% of our staff came back from the retreat feeling more connected. Nine in 10 want to repeat the experience.

As one teammate said, ‘The small moments spent with the team during activities or between sessions… these are the things I’ve missed most during Covid.’

You and me both.

2. Growth is hard. So invest in resilience. 

At ntegrity, we’re on course to grow our business 40% this year alone. 

When your team is growing at such a fast clip, it’s vital to establish disciplines that keep you laser-focused on your purpose. This year’s retreat was designed to do just this. It was more than a chance to rejuvenate from the past two years. It was an investment in our future.

We carefully crafted a wellness agenda, working in tandem with Wallis, who specializes in restorative health retreats. Our time together included:

  • Massoga sessions that combine deep stretch and massage therapy

  • Daily meditation

  • Vegan food by chef Isabel Ometto

  • Activities to connect with each other (surfing, golf, exercise) 

  • Free time for individuals to use who they wish: walking on the beach, knitting, and so on  

3. Retreats are worth it – if they’re strategic. 

Meditation, massage therapy, surfing… it all sounds great. (And was great.) But this wasn’t a holiday from our work, strictly speaking. Retreats are meant to be strategic, and ours was no exception: 

  • Before the retreat, we conducted team-wide Harrison assessments run by the organisational culture consultants at Salple. In the first session of our retreat, we used this data to better understand ourselves and how we work within our teams. 

  • We had a strategy day to cast vision for the year ahead of us.

  • One of our not-for-profit clients, Lucinda Nolan, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, led us in a session reminding us of our guiding purpose: to help good grow.

Investing in your culture is investing in your growth. 

If you want to grow your team, you’ve got to invest in culture. At ntegrity, we’re fortunate to be in a relatively strong position, despite everything the past two years has thrown at us. 
Our most recent staff engagement research shows well over 90% of our team aligns with our purpose and values – and every single person feels cared for and supported at work. 
That’s why we invested in this retreat. And that’s why it was money well spent.