Written By: Amber Ott

In the beginning of October JoycePayne Partners held an all-company retreat in our Richmond, VA office. The gathering was two and a half days of great conversations, productive break-out sessions and fun team-building activities.

On the first day of the retreat, we defined what it means to be a high-functioning team. Then, over the next few days we kept that definition in mind as we looked for areas where we could improve internal operations and the client experience.

On Thursday we worked in groups to write hypothetical news articles, dated five years in the future, about JoycePayne Partners’ success. We all agreed that in five years’ time the firm will have grown internally and externally, and that we will have continued to delight our clients along the way – in the same ways we always have and also in new ways we dreamt up. We then used those stories to focus on opportunities we can embrace in order to achieve that success in five years. We also addressed challenges we will likely run into along the way and explored strengths that would help us overcome those challenges.

The retreat also included some fun, purely social activities, which gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better outside of the office. Wednesday night, Mike and Cindy Joyce hosted the entire group at their house. In addition to a wonderful dinner, we enjoyed a Cornhole (bean bag toss) tournament in the backyard. Congratulations to Cindy Ortiz and Jamie Malone – reigning JPP Cornhole champions! Then, on Thursday night after an intense day of idea-generation and brainstorming sessions, we headed to Mise en Place Cooking School for a group cooking class. We were divided into five teams, with each team responsible for preparing one part of a dinner that we all enjoyed together.We had an absolutely delicious meal: grilled flatbread pizza as an appetizer; steak, orzo pilaf with roasted root vegetables, and kale salad as a main course; and crepes for dessert. The best realization from the class was that we’re all pretty good cooks, but when we work together, we’re even better! It was a great experience to take home with us. Another thing we got to take home with us – the recipes…yum!

We wrapped up the retreat on Friday with a summary of the work we had done over the past two days and an action plan for moving forward in our never-ending quest for excellence.

At JoycePayne Partners we are always looking for ways to better ourselves. If you have any ideas on how we could improve the client experience, please feel free to send them to the author, Amber Ott.