Working remotely can disrupt the sense of team and limit levels of mutual support that we were so traditionally used to amongst colleagues in the office setup. Staff retreats are effective for strengthening teams, integrating new staff members, and re-energising current employees.
After working from home for over 18 months, APCA staff took advantage of the lifting of stringent COVID-19 restrictions and increased access to covid-19 vaccination in Uganda to hold their first face-to-face staff retreat and teambuilding event since 2019. Strict COVID-19 SOPs were observed, and most interactive activities were held outdoors.
All staff members had a chance to debrief and share their experience of the prolonged lockdown period both professionally and at a personal level in a facilitated session that enabled them to catch up with each other, bridge any disconnects, and renew the sense of team once again.
The retreat also incorporated a 4-hour teambuilding session with external facilitators from Quest 4 Excellence who did a great job ensuring the staff got to know each other a little better and also got to acknowledge and appreciate their different personality types using an abridged version of temperament testing. Competitive games that enhance teamwork brought the group to life as teams endeavoured to complete near-impossible tasks, and battled to win the competitive activities.
The occasion was also the first time that some team members were meeting newer staff in person for the first time, i.e., David Byaruhanga, Eugene Rusanganwa and Irene Kambonesa.
APCA retreats are always special as they allow ALL staff from all departments including Programmes, Security, Senior Management, ICTs and Finance to interact in an informal setting, thereby allowing the fostering of better interpersonal relationships and friendships.
The retreat was held at an inspiring venue on the shores of Lake Victoria, and staff took some timeout to enjoy the fresh breeze, do photoshoots, as well as an energised evening of roast meat, music and dance.
APCA acknowledges its core funding partners who made this retreat possible.