We had a little chat with Ralph Hartmeier, the Chief Commercial officer and co-founder of rready last week. We talked about the rready Camp that took place at the Workation Village last August with the 30 members of this global startup.
rready is a company that was born out of the premise that innovation needs better processes to allow for the leadership team to have a better overview of what initiatives are happening, and the employees to understand what is happening to their suggestions and encourage them to take an active role in innovation.
NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THE HOTEL CONFERENCE ROOM
Ralph admits he has no problem to delegate, but he considers HR and Culture such essentials, that he cannot really let go of it of that responsibility in such a small growth startup. That is why he is the one in charge of the yearly rready Camps, which mark a memorable happening for the whole companyAs a distributed company, it has always been important for rready to bring the team together at least once a year, through the rready Camp.
Those have been running for four years now and every time they are looking for a venue that matches their vibe as a team:
- a certain level of craziness, for a team that does not take itself too seriously
- but still wants to be able to focus and work
- a one of a kind and unique feel
- a soul
- a place that most of the team can reach easily
- not in the city.
"The location needs to create a ‘wow’-effect - every year something completely different so it is not comparable and creates lifelong memories.
Ralph also shared with us a quite uncommon (but awesome) KPI. With each camp, employees are offered the possibility to arrive two days early and spend the weekend together before the retreat officially started on the Monday. 80% of the company chose to come early. "That means something to us".
A VILLAGE AND ITS PEOPLE
To make sure theWorkation Village was the right place Ralph paid a visit to the place and our team on site a few weeks before. Stepping out of the taxi and looking at the village he immediately felt this was the right choice but what won him over was meeting Luca, the owner. "We rarely saw so many moved faces during the guided tour he gives - This is very close to our hearts: We also believe in fulfilling a vision and can well relate to how much stamina and passion it takes to get there. We were touched by how Luca talked about his big vision".
IT'S BUSINESS AND IT'S PERSONAL
For a three day event, the program was pretty packed Ralph admits. On the first day only they had Olympic Games, a gelato cart, a volley ball game and a cooking class going on, to finally end with singing songs around the bonfire.
You can tell it is not Ralph's first Camp as he shared with us two of his "secret weapon" bonding activities we'll definitely take inspiration from in the future:
- Have a costumed party and ask your team to come dressed up as the job they wanted to become as a child. It creates great anticipation and is a smooth way to bring personal and professional relationships together.
- Have an ongoing game throughout the whole camp to keep the excitement going, in a big bang (and surprise) at the end
We asked Ralph about his favourite moment and as often, the bonfire came up.
"We'll do a bonfire again next year. It was a very special moment, even by 40 degrees".
____________________ Thank you Ralph and the rready team for trusting us with your rready Camp this year!