When planning a corporate retreat, it is important to consider how to make the most of the limited and extremely valuable time you have.
A great deal of effort, money, and planning can go into a corporate retreat, so you need to get the most out of the actual time spent together.
Here are five suggestions from our experienced experts to consider for your next company retreat:
Have the right people.
Without the right people, the entire thing will crumble during the retreat or when trying to apply what you learned when you return to the office. Make sure your management team is present and intact at the retreat. You also need some staff that are involved in executing strategies, otherwise people will not be on the same page when you get back to the office. You can involve these individuals for the parts of the agenda they are involved with, getting their input before the retreat.
Have the right agenda planned.
When planning an agenda, make sure it is focused with specific outcome stated. Agendas that try to cover too much in too little time without set goals are invitations to failure. Lack of focus results in discussions getting off-track quickly when it is time for serious business. Ask yourself a few questions when planning sessions in your agenda:
- What needs to occur for a session to be a success?
- What specific issues are we discussing?
- What are we not discussing?
- What are the highest priority issues and what can wait if we run out of time?
Have the right process.
This means setting separate time for brainstorming, problem solving, and action planning and not letting things get mixed up. Ensure the proper people are involved with each process and there aren’t too many clashing heads to get anything accomplished. The success of the retreat is based on the productivity of business sessions. Keep discussion on track with someone taking care that people are considering alternatives before jumping to conclusions and that there is balanced participation in meetings.
Have the right action plan.
After brainstorming, discussion, and problem solving, the final step is to create an action plan that will work to solve issues when you return to business as usual. An action plan needs to include due dates and responsibilities and be that can be monitored. Keeping things straightforward and setting real expectations for work will ensure that the staff will follow through with plans set at the retreat.
Make the right meeting fun.
Getting away from the office is a chance to build team work and friendships that will have the potential to enhance the work environment. Avoid a retreat agenda that is so ridged that it is chore to keep up. And make sure to have activities that everyone can participate, along with time to just sit and visit. Building relationship is one of the most important benefits of a good retreat.