Designing the perfect staff retreat can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve provided 4 simple guidelines that will keep you on track when designing the best staff retreat ever!
Location: Choose the Right Space
In order for teams to truly disconnect and be fully engaged retreats need to be held off-site. No one will be talking about the “office conference room” retreat in 10 yrs 😉 Finding a space with lounge seating and comfortable furniture is important. A relaxed, creative setting encourages teams to open up and is the perfect setting for connecting, reflection, and brainstorming.
Agenda: Write an Effective Agenda
Design the retreat to ensure each team member is involved in every conversation. This means agenda topics must be relevant to the entire team. Take all other discussions off-line. To maximize the importance of the agenda topics, write the topics in question form. Instead of writing “Discussion on Budget” try “What are some ways we could reduce spending?”. This way your team is prepared with ideas and possible solutions before the day even begins.
Breaks: Schedule Frequent Breaks
Frequent breaks are a must! Make it a point to break every hour and add it to your agenda. Breaks need to be short (7-10 minutes) and efficient. Ensure the team knows the meeting is starting back promptly. Having frequent, shorter breaks keeps participation level higher and distractions lower. Breaking frequently also energizes the team.
Action: Ensure an Action Plan is in Place
If there is no action plan, follow up, or accountability after a corporate retreat, don’t put the effort in to plan one. This is critical to maximizing the results of all the discussions, future plans, and ideas you’ve generated during your retreat. Before the end of the day create deadlines. Discussing progress and holding each other accountable is the best way to see direct results from your retreat.
Oh and here’s a BONUS TIP! I’m sure this goes without saying, but FOOD is also a key part of any day-long retreat. The winning combo is having a variety of food and a lot of it! Use these simple guidelines when planning your next staff retreat and it’s sure to be memorable.
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