This week we hold our annual off-site, all-day meeting for everyone in the company. It’s something we’ve been doing for almost twenty-five years. We close down the reception desk and warehouse, shut off the phones, put emails on automatic reply, and bring in employees who work in other parts of the country.
What do we do?
As an explicitly Christian company, it’s not surprising we take time to pray, worship or study Scripture. Often there is also a training component. Maybe we cover some changes in HR. Sometimes we have an outside speaker to give some fresh perspective on an important trend or issue. Milestone anniversaries of veteran employees are celebrated and new employees are welcomed. We may discuss our strategic plan and break into work groups to grapple with some of the key elements we want to implement.
Yes, it can be a challenge to plan a day that engages everyone equally, at every level and in every department. But some of the most significant value is working together, sitting together and eating together with folks in other departments. Table groups and lunch groups are intentionally interdepartmental. We get to see others in new contexts and get to know others better who may have mostly been faces and names.
It’s a day to celebrate our corporate culture and mission. We tend to believe in what we do, and it is good to be reminded of what our special calling and place is in the wider world of publishing and the church.