Showing Employee Appreciation: Building a Hitch Culture

MY HEART IS SO FULL! 28 out of our 40 employees were able to make it to the Fall All-Employee Retreat at Hitch Studio last night! (Want to read about past retreats or see our agenda for the night? Click here and here!)

At each employee appreciation retreat, we do five things:

1. Fill our envelopes with thankful notes from each other on the gratitude board.

2. Fill our bodies with wonderful food and drink.

3. Fill our minds with a new “life skill” at each retreat.

4. Fill our souls with celebration, awards, and friendship as we kick-off a wedding season — in this case, as we wrap-up a wedding season.

5. Fill our hearts with a gift from Hitch Studio as a reminder of how appreciated we are.

Each retreat is different, and last night we did introductions, wedding trivia, awarded one employee with the “Accommodating Award” and ended our evening by taking a cooking class from Random Sweets at Carrot seed Kitchen Co. in downtown Brookings! I HIGHLY recommend that combination!! Staci Mergenthal owns her business, Random Sweets, is an amazing baker, specializing in cheesecakes and her black and yellow caramel brownies, which won first place in Taste of Home’s Holiday Potluck contest. She recently started her own podcast as well, affectionately called Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens. She lives in Minnesota, but was born and raised in South Dakota and I could think of no better person to give us tips on cooking, chopping, baking, and kitchen tips…than Staci.

Plus, we got to shop at the cutest kitchen store in all of Brookings afterwards (with the gift cards to spend as part of their retreat gift)! As a part of this cooking-themed night, we were also able to collect and donate 40 items to the Brookings Food Pantry just in time for Thanksgiving. Hitch loves being a part of this community and it warms our hearts when we can give back.

Hitch Studio is almost 10 years old and we’ve been doing all-employee retreats twice a year since then.

Past topics at all-employee retreats have included:

• Self Defense Class

• Yoga/Self Care/Love Languages

• Public Speaking/Toastmasters 101

• Dinner etiquette

• Floral arranging

• Color analysis

• Dancing lessons

• And tonight, a cooking class!

I want each employee to come to Hitch Studio full of eagerness and joy and leave each retreat with new friends, fun life skills, and full of love. Here’s what they said about the evening:

It was super fun and went well! I loved the experience and really appreciated the gift!

It was fun to meet people I haven’t met. Also the generosity throughout the night was so amazing.

I loved the cooking class – Staci was so real, fun and I felt it was interactive because of her talking and helpful tips! Getting to shop afterwards with everyone was great too!

I loved the large turn out of girls, the atmosphere felt very welcoming, the activities were so fun, and I loved the Accommodating Award!

I was able to meet employees I haven’t worked with before and got to learn something new about cooking!

It was such an enjoyable and celebratory environment! I love the different components of each retreat and how appreciative everyone is.

It was so much fun and a great way to meet employees that I have never met. Loved the ice breakers and games

You do such a great job taking care of us as employees! I know how much work you put into things like these and it feels so nice to be appreciated, and we appreciate you! Keep up the great work :)I love having a potluck, being able to learn a life skill, and the gratitude slips are so special! It was fun to see everyone and celebrate the end of the season!

I love being a part of the Hitch family!

THANK YOU all for being a part of the Hitch family! I hope you loved last night as much as I did!

xoxo, Renee

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