Here at Equity Methods, we consider culture as something that fosters growth, period. Growth can come through both professional advancement and internal relationships. Why relationships? Because people who succeed in professional services tend to be well connected inside the firm. They can grow their skills faster by knowing who to ask for help, what ideas are worth borrowing, and where interesting projects are happening. It’s also just nice to have friends who can brighten up a tough day.
Where offsites come in
Sometimes we create those growth opportunities outside the workplace. Let’s face it, client service can be demanding—and it’s our number-one priority while on the job. Beyond that, not all of us are extroverts who get their energy from seeking people out. So it helps to be able to take the show on the road, away from the norms and pressures of office life.
Think of an offsite as being about discovery. More specifically, it’s an event that’s designed to impart information, share successes, and foster strong connections within the organization. And although working across functions and levels of seniority is a fact of life at Equity Methods, an offsite gives you the chance to build on those relationships.
Not all offsites look the same
At Equity Methods, we hold different kinds of offsites.
All-firm offsites are to discuss overarching company goals, highlight new projects and initiatives, show appreciation, and build those cross-functional connections. Groups get an opportunity to share projects that boost individual and firm success through different learning sessions. Even if a project or firm-level initiative doesn’t directly relate to you, it may have ripple effects on your responsibilities. Either way, it’s great to share ideas and let others know what your own contributions are.
Practice offsites are for team bonding and client or project-specific skill sharing. These offsites include everyone in a certain competency area, such as Valuation or Financial Reporting. At our practice offsites, we discuss the team’s ground game for meeting shared goals. Individuals may also share something they’re well-versed in as a way of upskilling the entire group. Nobody’s an expert in every aspect of their job, so this helps us reduce friction and become more efficient. These offsites also give team members a chance to swap stories and celebrate practice wins.
Cohort offsites focus on similar job levels—think recent hires, experienced associates, or seniors. In other words, they’re for colleagues who are at a similar phase in their professional development. There’s a huge emphasis on peer-to-peer learning, including simulations of typical and atypical scenarios. The idea is to learn about how to handle certain issues that can come up in your work while getting to know your cohorts better.
All this sounds fairly structured, and to an extent it is. But every offsite has an element of downtime to it too. An Equity Methods offsite often involves interesting places and experiences, such as hiking in Red Rock State Park or dining with the fishes at the Odysea Aquarium. Like we said—it’s all about discovery!
Getting set up for success
To most people, a workplace get-together that isn’t strictly about work means being voluntold to pitch in on the sock-darning committee, doing trust falls with people you don’t exactly trust, and mandatory outings that become—in the immortal words of Stanley from “The Office”—a “run-out-the-clock situation.”
But an EM offsite is different. Participating in one opens the door for dialogue, leading to more constructive discussion and alternative perspective sharing. That’s critical to our commitment to transparency. It’s also a way to invest in the individual. Every person at Equity Methods plays an integral role in our success. As such, they should be privy to knowing how their contributions help shape the firm, along with opportunities that help them advance in their careers.
In our next post, we’ll talk about the importance of collaboration—and why EM’s modern approach to teambuilding is better for your professional growth than a traditional hierarchical setup.