At the conclusion of the busy summer tournament season, AJGA headquarters closes for three days in October. During these three days, all staff members, from the newest of new to the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer travel to the Georgia mountains for a staff retreat.
Staff retreat is a time to get away from the office, to talk about the year behind and plan for the year ahead. While there is a lot of work that gets done, the retreat is also a time for AJGA staff to have fun together and enjoy each other’s company. Whether it’s a friendly, yet certainly competitive, softball game, or preparing s’mores around a campfire, there’s plenty of fun time for the staff to get to know one another and have time together outside of the normal work atmosphere.
Director of Player Services Chandler Sweat, an AJGA staff member since 2004, has attended nine staff retreats.
“The benefits of having a staff retreat are team building, future productivity and feeling valued,” Sweat said. “It gives us a chance to say what we really think.”
In my personal opinion, one of the coolest things about staff retreat is the invitation that is extended to attend to “new hires,” future employees who do not start work at headquarters until January.
Kellen Clawson, who worked as an intern in 2011 and 2012, attended his first staff retreat in October and shared his experience.
Q: As a new hire, what was your first thought about the AJGA flying down all of the new hires to participate in staff retreat?
I thought it was a great gesture to make me instantly feel included in the organization. It was another gesture that showed me I was making the right move, moving states away from my family to start a new adventure. I had an organization that supported me and wanted me involved as soon as possible.
Q: What were your first impressions?
I liked how easy it was to jump in and have fun with both the staff that I knew previously from my internships, as well as the staff that I had never met before. The people I met for the first time all welcomed me and mentioned how they were excited to work with me. I could tell the staff gets excited each year to meet the new hires and welcome them.
Q: What does it mean to work for an organization that offers this kind of event for its employees?
I am very proud to be part of an organization that does this. I know that no matter what struggles I face at work, I will always have the support of my coworkers. I am proud to be part of an organization that empowers me even when I am fresh out of school and prone to mistakes. They encourage me to grow and learn which makes me want to perform better.
In case you’ve missed something, be sure to check out our full AJC Top 100 interview series.
This is the last installment of our AJC Top 100 series on the blog. It’s been such a pleasure sharing with you stories of our past employees, as well as giving you a small glimpse into what makes the AJGA such a great place to work. If you’re interested in a career at the AJGA, be sure to check out our careers page online and follow @AJGACareers on Twitter.
Did you have a favorite part of the AJC Top 100 blog series? Do you have ideas of something you’d like to hear more about on the blog in the future? Give me a shout on Twitter, I’d love to talk to you about it.
Until next time,