The Why, When, Where & How of Strategic Staff Retreats
Categories: Blog, Operational Effectiveness, Staff Meetings
- Brain Storming – Complacently in business is an ingredient for disaster. Persevere through complacently by offering brain storming sessions during your staff retreats. Allow staff to step away from routine processes and think out-side of the box. Focus on different key areas within your firm. You will not have enough time to cover every area in one meeting, so consider alternating key topics. Some areas to include are; market share, service delivery, new technology and new trends. Tip – Pair team members together and assign each team a subject to research prior to your retreat. Tell them to imagine their research will be a feature story on your website or used in a press release. This exercise will provide innovation and stretch imaginations beyond the norm. During your retreat, discuss the ideas by reviewing benefits, obstacles and the tactics you will use to move closer to implementation.
When & Where Should You Retreat
When and where you retreat is entirely up to you! Ideally, a retreat should be conducted away from your office. Retreats are hard work and require long periods of intense, uninterrupted discussion. Holding your retreat outside of the daily workplace will provide team members the opportunity to focus, enjoy the retreat and bring visionary ideas to the table. Tip – An ideal setting does not guarantee a productive retreat. Assign a team to spearhead your retreat including when, where and pre-planning assignments correlating to the agenda.
How You Should Retreat
Plan In Advance – Allow team members sufficient time to plan for the event personally and professionally. Establish retreat dates at the same time you plan your annual marketing calendar. Tip – Assign projects at least one month in advance for optimal results. Assigning projects to team members a week before your retreat adds stress and frustration, and results in an unproductive retreat with less than average ideas due to lack of preparation time.
During The Retreat – Create a relaxed environment with a twist on culture. This will not only be fun for those planning the retreat but will provide an atmosphere different from the daily office. Allow discussions to be open by asking for input from all team members. If the retreat gets off track, you are responsible to bring the group back into focus. Avoid topics that should be discussed in one-on-one settings. This is the time to retreat to a place where minds are relaxed and stretched and the entire team comes together for a greater cause. Tip – Create a theme for your retreat.
After The Retreat – Follow up! Just as you would follow up with a client, following up with your team is vitally important. Create a survey and ask members to complete it. Many team members are fearful to complete a survey and won’t share their true thoughts. Tip: Provide an anonymous online survey using a product such as Survey Monkey.
Why, when, where and how does your office hold strategic retreats? Share your best practices with us!
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