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What keeps your employees powered? I’m not asking here about the size of their paychecks, the quality of their benefits package, nor the flavors of candy you stock in your trove of company snacks. As attractive as these perks might appear, they are not the fuel that generates the energy of your team.

Let’s use the metaphor of the wind turbine: its mighty capacity is produced by an unseen force more potent than any dynamism that meets the eye – wind!

The question every company should ask is, how do we tap into that unseen energy source? How do we identify, analyze, magnify and celebrate that power? One power-packed option is a company retreat. Consider halting operations for a day or two and steeling away to a quieter environment where you can relax, appreciate, bond, brainstorm, strategize, exercise and intentionally step back to breathe new life into your shared mission.

Recently Purple Ink did just that. For a day-and-a-half of company-paid time, one of our employees opened her lake house to the group. Over the course of those hours, something immeasurable occurred – we became a more energized, more JoyPowered team.

Allow me to share what this looked like.

Retreat Pre-Work

Several co-workers were asked to prepare presentations on a variety of topics that included: updates on current initiatives; brainstorming new service possibilities; honing business strategies; corporate social responsibility options; marketing and financial reports; enriching company vision and values (based on The Ideal Team Player, by Patrick Lencioni); StrengthsFinder exercise (Purple Ink is a strengths-based workplace); tapping into employees’ personal dreams and goals (based on The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly).

In addition, each employee was assigned to a team of 3 or 4 co-workers who prepared presentations on implementing or revising company policies and practices. This small-team group preparation served to jump start the team-bonding objective of the retreat.


Bright, sunny, eye-pleasing lake view


Super comfy slouchy clothes


Nutritious, delicious, plentiful meals; snacks and goodies all day long, contributed by co-workers; no calorie-counting


Presentations on the above-mentioned pre-work; delicious meals; several optional activities (morning prayer/meditation; yoga; art-and-craft project; boat ride; poker night; bonfire).


We returned from our retreat experience with a renewed appreciation for our Purple Ink identity and power: the strengths, gifts and value of each co-worker; our company’s mission and vision; our shared values; our hope for the company’s future; and, most importantly, the increased JoyPower that defines Purple Ink – that unseen force more potent than any dynamism that meets the eye – our wind!

Try it! A retreat doesn’t have to be elaborate; it doesn’t have to be long; and it doesn’t have to be tightly structured. But it does have to set out to identify and tap into the unseen energy source that fuels your team. Find your wind and you will find your company’s power!

Denise McGonigal
Denise McGonigal
Denise is a Purple Ink Collaborator and co-author of The JoyPowered® Family. With Learner in her top 5 Strengths, she is passionate about continuous learning both for herself and others.

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