Jamiu ZubairJamiu Zubair

Company retreats have been a part of the AFEX culture since 2015. From partying together (Saminaka Resort) to mini Safaris (Yankari Games Reserve) and everything in between, these special getaways have been a priority, even as we’ve grown from our humble beginnings as a team of a handful to more than 80 people.

We go on retreats for a multitude of reasons, but the most important is getting the entire team together in one relaxed space. It’s a time where names are put to faces and of course planning for the growth of the organization. In summary the objective is to build connections within the team —  which is the basis of this year’s theme, “Succeeding Together!”

This year was clearly AFEX’s most engaging retreat to-date. The team met in Zaria last week for three days of interactions, strategy and fun activities (that tended to revolve around food, because that’s the kind of people we are).

The aim of the retreat was to ensure that AFEX scales to better heights and produce ground breaking results. To this end, a full agenda of strategy sessions, trainings and group projects was created. The sessions were focused around how to remain on track with the organizational growth plan and targets while being more efficient, effective and goal oriented. The AFEX team was challenged through the sessions and exercises to improve not only as individuals but as a team, because the success of the organization is dependent on every team member.

An event worthy of note was the movie night that held the first night. The movie, “Money Ball” based off Michael Lewis’s 2003 nonfiction book “Money ball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” is about a baseball team and its general manager. It focused on the teams analytical, evidence-based, saber-metric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite its small budget. The movie which served as the soundtrack of the retreat brought home all management wanted to convene to the team. Resonating qualities such as; Refocus, Ownership, Attitude, Creativity, Teamwork, Trust, Candor, Relationship, Brand and Execution, everyone was tasked with reflecting on them for use in improving positions.

Also on the agenda was a visit to the closest warehouse in the location (AFEX Warehouse Zaria) where members of the backend office were able to learn and see warehouse processes that ensured the continual effectiveness that made the AFEX Collateral Management Service.

Breakout strategy sessions had everyone working on the year’s production figures and individual work goals. This would be the highlight of the retreat. Groups were formed to breakdown figures and strategize on the best execution plans while presentations were made on both plans and the result of a side exercise where everyone spoke of their ideal AFEX.

As it was not all work, we had time to play and relax; from early morning workout sessions to barbecues around bonfires at night. We held little games where prizes were won but most importantly an award night, where team members were recognized for their effort, hard work & performance over the year and were rewarded as such. While not everyone may have been recognized or rewarded particularly, it was made clear by management that the company was a family, the “Ba wasa” family, and by proxy the glue that keeps it all together.

So was the investment in the company and the retreat in Zaria worthwhile? Absolutely! We look forward to putting the conversations we had in Zaria to work in our different locations. Working with each other was a valuable experience, and the AFEX team as a whole learned a lot from the trainings. The key message that will continue to resonate is, “Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM)”.

Could you be part of our 2019 AFEX team retreat? We’re not actively hiring for any positions but we’re always on the lookout for talented, self-starting individuals. Follow our company social media accounts for news and updates.

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