- After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, capSpire’s EMEA and APAC annual retreat returned in Portugal.
- We’ve highlighted all the major takeaways and successes of this event, from the topics of discussion to the fun activities and employee recognitions.
- We believe that these opportunities for face-to-face connection and interaction play a more vital role than ever in our post-COVID world for building relationships, encouraging continuous learning, and maintaining culture.
For the first time in three years, capSpirians from more than 14 countries across Europe, India, and Australia, gathered in person in Albufeira, Portugal, for our company’s beloved and highly anticipated annual retreat.
Each year, our two major retreats in the Americas and Europe are our opportunities to gather everyone from across the organization together to build relationships and reflect on the future direction of capSpire. After an extended interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it felt great to be back together.
So, what exactly did we do and talk about? What key takeaways stood out? And just why is this retreat so popular anyway within our team anyway, especially a few years apart?
Here are the highlights.
- We had record numbers of first timers.
Clearly, capSpire is growing. This was the very first capSpire retreat for about 70% of our attendees this year, and we structured the event with this exciting statistic in mind.
We really wanted to build enthusiasm and emphasize how each individual function within the company contributes to our global strategy.
We also expanded topics of conversation beyond the technical side of our business to highlight the softer skills that our consultants need to be effective and well-rounded. We hosted breakout sessions to discuss certain critical skills that consultants must have in addition to technical expertise, such as finance, recruiting, sales, and interpersonal relationship building.
- Among the non-first timers, many employees have been with us for a long time.
We like to celebrate our people—project completions, significant accomplishments, and especially major milestones in our peoples’ careers. At each year’s retreat, we typically recognize employees who have surpassed a certain number of years at capSpire. Not only does this recognition make our team members feel valued, but it inspires newer employees by helping them envision the opportunities available to them at capSpire and what their future could look like at our company.
This year, we honored many 10-year anniversaries and six-year anniversaries. For a company that’s 15 years old, we consider this to be an impressive feat and indicative of the great culture we’ve built.
- We like to have fun.
No average, run-of-the-mill team-building sessions here. Instead, capSpirians bonded by sharing adventures together across southern Portugal. If deciding between ocean kayaking, wine tasting, and off-road motorsports excursions sounds like an amazing way to spend an afternoon, you have come to the right place.
- The caliber of our people is unparalleled.
We believe our peoples’ intellect and overall quality is exceptional. In our complex, sophisticated business, capSpirians average more than 15 years’ experience and have represented all major CTRM software providers. We are so proud of the team we’ve cultivated and enjoy investing in their success and satisfaction.
- The work we do is critically important for the times we’re living in.
The commodities industry is an interesting space to operate in, especially given today’s volatile scenarios. As a major cog in the overall economy, commodities have a significant impact on everything around us. World events including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the impact on the European economy as well as the prices of fuel and power—have rippled into day-to-day manufacturing costs. Through our work, capSpire is influential in helping businesses operate efficiently and profitably, enabling the successful delivery of commodities to end users.
- The opportunities for connection are invaluable.
We enjoy talking strategy and what we want to accomplish, but the real crown jewel of our annual retreats are the “in-between times:” those opportunities to have spontaneous, person-to-person conversations and engage with team members from around the world who we may rarely—if ever—see each other and gain exposure to new ideas and approaches to work.
The project teams for EON and Danske are a great example of why these connections are so meaningful. These team members don’t have many opportunities to interact outside of a project setting. At the capSpire retreat, they were able to spend time in person, which will no doubt enhance their relationships and the work they produce together.
According to Jim Kiser, capSpire CEO, socialization and connection are his favorite parts of the retreat.
“I love discovering how people from different places with varying life experiences and backgrounds work. How they view certain topics, finding out what makes their world go ‘round,” Jim says. “Often, these interactions can dispel misunderstandings that you might have along the way if you didn’t get to meet in person.”
- There is still a place for company retreats in the post-COVID landscape.
Even long before the pandemic, capSpire was a remote-capable company but we have never sacrificed opportunities to get together. In fact, we lean into those opportunities.
In today’s world, 100% remote work may not always be the answer, but neither is 100% at the office. We believe in balance so that we can offer flexibility to our team, while also nurturing valuable relationships, continuous learning, and maintaining our fantastic culture—all benefits associated with being together.
“At capSpire, we’re always looking for ways to maintain the personal touch in the workplace. Business is all about trust and being confident in the individuals with whom you engage,” Jim says. “Whether it’s retreats, office events, or lunches, we have to find ways to make time for connections with people.”
All these things reflect the open, caring, empowering, people-first culture we’ve carefully built. To facilitate strong, positive connections, we strive to be a team in which people want to gather. As a result, capSpire is consistently selected as a best place to work.
Does this sound like the type of team you want to be part of? We invite you to read more about our unique culture. Maybe we’ll see you at the next retreat!