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  • Writer's pictureSusan & Renée

How to Have a Successful Work Retreat

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Last week, we introduced the idea of taking your team on a work retreat. Work retreats can facilitate a broader perspective on company issues, enhance the relationships between team members and get everyone aligned on the team’s goals and the path to achieve them.

As you plan a retreat for your team, keep the following tips in mind to ensure that the event is a success:

Location, location, location: Choosing a nice venue for the retreat (one that is noticeably different from the traditional worksite) helps team members unplug from the daily demands and distractions and opens them up to fresh ideas and more creative thinking. It will also make it easier to sustain focused attention over time and quickly replenish during breaks.

Feed, hydrate, and caffeinate: This should be obvious, but don’t underestimate the power of caring for your team members’ basic needs (yes, that includes coffee). This not only communicates that you care but it also sets them up to give you their best energy.

Do things differently: The ability to meet in person along with the change in scenery means you can use non-traditional ways to get work done. Using games, movement, and fun team building activities will help get the team’s creative juices flowing and promote sustained engagement.

Make the time useful: This involves a carefully planned agenda based on achievable goals as well as structuring content at times that will make the best use of the group’s energy. Examples might include starting with a warm up or ice breaker activity or having the easiest portion of the work occur at the end of the day, when energy is lagging. In addition, providing something useful to team members, even if it doesn’t directly relate to the retreat’s agenda, is a nice way to express appreciation to your team. For example, you might have a section of time devoted to sharing productivity hacks or to teaching stress reduction techniques.

Use an independent facilitator: Having someone outside the team organize and facilitate your retreat can bring a different dynamic to the group. Independent facilitators can help minimize distractions that would typically take the group off track. In addition, they allow the team leaders to be active participants in the process rather than having to focus on content delivery and managing group dynamics.

In summary, when planning a work retreat for your team, try to play to the “treat” part of the event. This happens when you choose a nice setting, provide tasty meals and snacks, incorporate fun and non-traditional methods and make good use of the time.

Interested in having an independent facilitator do the heavy lifting at your next retreat? Let G2 Solutions help!

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