Your team needs a retreat right now. And by right now, I mean, like, in the next two weeks.
I see you nodding your head in agreement. You know I’m right, even if you can’t really put your finger on why. Let me help you with that. Here are 5.5 reasons why your team needs a retreat right now. By the way, if you’re not the boss, read this and then gently (or even anonymously) pass it on to your boss.
1. You need to relight the spark in your people. Let’s face it, even if your company has escaped downsizing and budget-cutting, your team is still feeling the stress of an economy gone haywire. Get them together, let them voice their concerns and tell them how important they are to your success as a company. And if your company has had to make some tough cuts lately, you really need to build up the ones that are still with you.
2. You need to think about the future NOW. Now is not the time to hide in the bushes and wait for things to get better. I read a quote the other day that described this time perfectly, it said:
“Don’t wait for the iron to become hot before you strike, strike in order to make the iron hot.”
I think I even said “YES!” out loud when I read that (which would explain the funny look on the guy’s face across from me at Starbucks).
3. You need to decompress from information overload. Unplug from the internet, email, voicemail, and cable TV and you will give your brain the space it needs to think up tons of great answers to the question, “So what do we do next?” Somehow, you don’t get really fresh answers when you ask questions like that in your own conference room.
4. You need to break the cycle of fear. We’re all holding on to our money because we’re afraid of what’s going to happen tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living like that. Fear is the enemy of opportunity. You can either take this time to hoard all of your money (which, by the way doesn’t seem to be eliminating any fear, does it?), or you can use this time to spend your money wisely doing things that build your business. A good retreat will help you do that. Every retreat we have ever had with our staff has resulted in a flood of new ideas, opportunity and productivity upon our return.
Dave Ramsey, my financial hero, says when you hoard money and hold it tightly in your fist, none of it will get out…but none can get in either. However, when you spend your money wisely, it creates room in your life and your business for more money to flow through.
5. You need to take advantage of the economy! Now is maybe the cheapest time in the last twenty years to hold a retreat. The meeting industry has slowed way down and you can get some real bargains on meeting space. We’ve even introduced some great ways to save money at sparkspace. I would caution, though, don’t just pick a place because it’s cheap. Always choose a retreat location that will help your team communicate, collaborate, and be more creative than they would typically be in your office.
We hold retreats for our core team at least 4 times per year. Sure, sometimes we do them here at sparkspace. After all, we are the most exciting retreat center on the planet. But we also seek out other locations so we can get away from where we work. We’ve found that these retreats are incredibly important and energising, in both good times and bad. A great example of a retreat that your team will love is at Adlington Hall as they focus on team building activities that will make your workforce relaxed in each others company and work better when they get back to the workplace!
And here’s reason 5.5: You need to stop worrying and just GO! If you’re worried that people will judge you for holding a retreat right now, give it a rest. You’re not AIG. You’re a business without a bailout, so you’ve got every right — and now you’ve got at least 5.5 fantastic reasons — to take your team on a retreat right now.