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Laughter and Learning: Takeaways from Our Team Offsite in Lisbon

  |  Dashlane
Remote Work Goes Live in Lisbon

Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like when Dashlaners attend a successful offsite get-together.

In April, Dashlane’s Customer Support & Service team gathered in Lisbon, Portugal for a three-day offsite get-together. The goal: Bring our fully remote team from three countries together in one place to brainstorm ideas and get to know each other. Some team members traveled across an ocean to attend, and some were excited to hear exploding laughter echoing throughout their home office.

We enjoyed many things at this event, including:

  • Generating ideas for our learning and development paths on yards and yards of butcher paper spread across the room.
  • Donning protective suits to spray paint Dashlane Avenger graffiti art in an idyllic setting.
  • Celebrating our Customer Support agents’ dedication and ownership as they presented their projects in the All Hands meeting.
  • Sharing ideas, offering knowledge, and becoming friends as we brought collaborative energy to every space.

Though we generated many plans that will set the Customer Support & Service team’s path for the next year or more, we also strengthened a team bond that will allow us to provide better help to our customers. 

Chat time in real time

Throughout the event, we drank in the experience of collaborating and simply belonging—and our deep appreciation for each other magnified. We were able to briefly put the difficulties of the pandemic aside as we connected and re-energized. Since our teams are used to working together remotely, the in-person contact humanized our relationships as we experienced how silly, loud, engaged, and happy our teammates are in person. Loving our face-to-face time doesn’t mean we want to go back to sitting side by side in an office, but we know we do want a regular cadence of togetherness. 

As we chatted over dinner or between events, we made connections that will help when we need to reach out and tackle projects together. We found collaborators, brainstormers, and the people who fill in the blanks. Everyone wanted to contribute and support each other in what we do best, and it was simply grand to feel that camaraderie.

Love of team and company

As the days went on, one thing remained clear: we really enjoyed each other’s company! We proudly spoke about loving our jobs, hitting the jackpot, and being content. But the recurring topic of conversation was how great the people at Dashlane are.

“I feel like I've truly found my tribe. Everyone here is so unique and amazingly special. We’re all excited about what has been built here, what we’re currently building, and where we’re headed together. Everyone is kind, courteous, and genuinely interested in what each other has to say. I feel respected, cared for, encouraged, and empowered to do great things. Dashlane is a place where humility and excellence intersect perfectly.”

Taylor Blanpied, Product Support Specialist

“It was great to see in person the team's excitement regarding the upcoming changes to our product and business. Knowing that our feedback is being heard and seeing that turn into practice is, by far, my favorite aspect of working here. We had the chance to bond, do fun activities, brainstorm, and, of course, eat a lot during the offsite! I’m looking forward to seeing the team again, as I've noticed a positive impact after seeing live how motivated our colleagues were and all the fantastic ideas they have to improve Dashlane.”

Nathália Buzin, Customer Support Agent

“It was the perfect mix of work-focused collaboration and casual, get-to-know-you time."

— Tori Galatro, Content Designer

What worked well

The culture of our team inspires us, and we can’t wait for the next opportunity to come together.

 Standouts: Growth, enthusiasm, and learning

Offsites are often filled with slide presentations, speakers, and lots of notetaking. We’re fortunate to have leaders who wanted an activity-based offsite and a team who loves to get up, compete, brainstorm, cheer, congratulate, interrupt to nail a joke, and present ideas at a moment’s notice. Notably, we enjoyed hearing and being a part of the bursts of laughter, clapping, and ruckus that boomed from the room during the Content Design System activity. Questions were asked, and prizes were won—learning at its finest.

In our first session, we presented the team’s accomplishments and growth over the past three years. We shared how customer interactions with our company have trended during this time period—from channel preferences to volume and types of requests.

We reviewed how our team has grown and adapted to meet the needs of our customers and company. In particular, our team has doubled in size, added specialists, and leveraged a deeper understanding of what competencies lead to success in each role.

Our team was invited to reflect on our learning and development needs in a creative collaboration style known as World Café. In small groups, we brainstormed, discussed, and made colorful notes on yards of butcher paper. We detailed what works and areas of opportunity to continue to build a strong team of passionate experts. After many sticky notes and unique drawings, the conclusion was clear: our team is eager to learn! We want more practice and dogfooding (using our own products), fulfilling e-learning, face-to-face sessions, and team bonding moments such as this offsite. We’re all looking for a tailored and guided learning experience, with time to integrate and absorb, so “everyone can row in the same direction.”

Celebrating our Customer Support agents

Our support agents spent quality time learning how to improve the customer experience, including how our customers can more easily contact us and how their feedback can promote change. Agents participated in a Sad/Mad/Glad exercise, and their answers aligned with the feedback we expect from our customers, showing how in tune they are with customer needs. We celebrated our agents as we shared customer comments in reviews and guessed who provided the great support. Hearty applause and hoots punctuated this activity! 

The Customer Support team is always ready to evaluate how to make the support we deliver even better. A group of agents presented the Screenshot Sharing Project, which was well-received. The goal was to provide the support team with the visual resources they need to help our customers. These agents built a Customer Support images library in a shared drive for ticket and chat handling, so all agents—who may not have all the platforms our customers use—have access to quality screenshots and GIFs for reference.

We want to give a special shoutout to the 15 amazing volunteers who helped handle 118 support tickets while the agents logged off and properly enjoyed our offsite. The feedback from the support volunteers was quite positive and allowed people from other teams to learn from our customers. Dashlaners stepped up to help…Avenger-style.

What we’ll do differently

Our offsite was successful because of the efforts of many team members, but we realized we can make the next gathering even better with more planning. Here are our three takeaways:

1. Do more prep and information gathering

For future offsites, we need to communicate the plan for each day well in advance with even more specifics. 

  • List what to expect so the team can provide feedback early on 
  • Offer detailed agendas, share how sessions will be conducted, provide ways to prepare, and ask for opinions
  • Allow more time for meetings, such as our All Hands, so that everyone has enough time to present and isn’t rushed

2. Allow for more socializing and reflecting

Our team focused on the packed schedule, but the pace became a bit exhausting after lunch. We also needed time to synthesize all the sessions and activities.

  • Build in more downtime to socialize with the people we've talked to almost every day on Zoom 
  • Allow for more office time with open periods to meet with smaller groups or discuss projects
  • Schedule more time for reflecting on what happened each day 
  • Summarize the brainstorming activities and present results to our team 
  • Add a longer session at the end of the offsite to get organized and aligned on key action items

3. Plan for everyone and the unexpected

We can do a better job of accommodating people who need to join virtually, so they feel comfortable and included. We also need a plan for unexpected technical issues, activities going over the allotted times, and who can fill in if a presenter can’t make it.

Until we meet again

On the last day, as we hugged goodbye and held on just a little longer, we found it hard to leave all these incredible people. But our abundance of notes, Miro boards, and pictures will remind us of all the people, plans, and possibilities until the next offsite. Can we get that on the calendar, please?

Interested in joining the team? Check out our available positions.

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