Every January, the Random Acts leadership team gathers for a work weekend. This annual summit allows the team to reflect on the previous year, plan for the new year, and make sure that everyone is on the same page. The summit also provides an opportunity to socialize with fellow staff, whose schedules may not ordinarily line up. This year’s summit had two big changes: it was our first virtual summit, and it was opened to all staff members.
Because Random Acts is a global organization with volunteers spread across time zones, we conduct the majority of our meetings virtually. Traditionally, the exception to this is the annual Leadership Summit, during which time the leadership team meets in person for a weekend full of Random Acts. As planning began for the 2021 summit, we knew that changes needed to be made to allow everyone to stay safe. The summit, like our other meetings, would need to stay virtual this year.
Changing traditions can be difficult, but it can also open our eyes to new possibilities. Having a virtual summit allowed us to turn a beloved weekend into an even bigger celebration of community and kindness. Because of the online aspect, this year’s summit was open to all staff members rather than just the leadership team, and we benefited greatly from the additional staff participation. Hosting the summit virtually also meant that it was more accessible—people could attend while wearing pajamas or opt to listen in while going about their day.
The 2021 Virtual Staff Summit featured more than 30 hours of sessions, including overviews of each department, brainstorming sessions for programming and fundraising efforts in 2021, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) training, leadership training, and more. Each department also set SMART goals for staff development and engagement in the coming year. These sessions allowed us to focus on learning and growing, both as individuals and as an organization.
Although Random Acts is staffed entirely by volunteers, we are all dedicated to making the world a kinder place. This dedication was shown in full force as staff found ways to attend as many sessions as possible in between working their paying jobs, caring for their families, and handling everything else life can throw at you.
Community of Kindness
Of course, we made time for fun and games too. There was a virtual “break room” where staff could get to know each other better. We also enjoyed group yoga (thank you, Drew!), showed off silly hats, and saw each other’s pets. It was wonderful to start the year off with such a caring community. For many of us, this virtual socializing time was a healing balm for the soul.
We would like to thank the Summit Planning Committee for their hard work organizing our first Virtual Staff Summit. We would also like to thank all of the session leaders who generously gave their time and energy. Finally, we would like to thank our staff who took the time to attend the summit.
If this sparked your interest in joining the Random Acts team, head over to our vacancies page for more information. We hope you are all ready for a kindness-filled 2021—we have big plans being announced soon!