Nation’s Best Holdings held its inaugural Women’s Leadership Retreat, offering a weekend of self-reflection, skill-building, relaxing and networking. Held at the Retreat Ranch in Marble Falls, Texas, female employees of Nation’s Best had the chance to network with other female leaders in the organization’s network.
The event’s organizer, Nation’s Best’s chief human resources officer Amber Little, says her company holds other events like it golf tournament, but mostly men participate.
“Some of our female employees go to the golf outing but often women get left out at those sort of events,” Little says. “Originally, I thought we would do a spa day and pamper our female employees, but I wanted to provide them with something more valuable to honor them as women and employees.”
Among the 30 women who attended the retreat, their years of experience with the company varied from three months to over 40 years. Little says the range of experience of the attendees was the perfect opportunity to learn from one another.
“I talked with our CEO Chris Miller about the event, and he agreed we needed something like this and was very supportive of it,” Little says.
During the first session of the retreat, Little says attendees focused on self-reflection and shared some of the challenges they face daily, either as a store manager or just being a woman in the industry.
“Attendees realized they’re not the only ones experiencing these challenges and discovered ways to overcome obstacles, which was incredibly valuable,” Little says. “Now they have a network of women they can call upon.”
During the planning of the retreat, Little found sponsors and invited female leaders from those companies to attend and take part in the sessions.
“I wanted to make sure it was purposeful and valuable for the attendees,” Little says. “I’m a mom of three, and I don’t want to spend three days away from my family if I’m not going to get something out of it or add value to my life.”
Little says her main motivation for planning and hosting this retreat was to build the confidence of the women in her company and to assure them the company invests time and money into them.
“I think it says the world about Nation’s Best and how we want to continue to grow and develop female leaders in this organization and in this industry,” Little says.
The retreat also gave attendees opportunities to build their leadership skills and to build resilience. One exercise Little is still continuing after the retreat is being mindful of the negative self-speak inside her head, something she says many women also deal with.
Little, and many other women at Nation’s Best who attended the women’s retreat, now wear a bracelet on their wrist. If they have a negative thought or complain about something in their work life, they have to move the bracelet to their other wrist, with the goal to leave the bracelet on the same wrist for 30 days straight.
The retreat had free time built into its schedule, giving attendees time to explore the ranch, go hiking and decompress for a few days. On the final day of the retreat, attendees visited a winery for a tasting and spent time in a nearby town.
Little says she received great feedback from attendees and sponsors and hopes that next year, the women’s retreat will be even bigger.
“My goal was to help these women build competence, network, develop their leadership and self-reflect,” Little says. “I think we did just that.”
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