Retreating together at an off-site meeting is an important way to align, connect and energize a team. This sacred time spent focused on how the team is working, needs to be carefully planned. Whether you have one day or a week, there are five must-do types of activities to build into your agenda.
Intentional connection activities will bond teams, build trust, and strengthen relationships.
Look for meaningful exercises or experiences to get team members sharing and learning about each other. You can scan the Better Teams blog for hundreds of ideas. Here are two favorites: The Four Quadrants or Heroes That Inspire.
Teams are often so busy that when they complete one project, they jump straight into the next one.
Making time to celebrate individuals and the team collectively is important to morale. Here is an idea to celebrate each person: Reward Certificates.
While together, it is the perfect time to collaborate on mutually important projects or team goals.
Think about the ideal topic for this meeting. A common topic is how can the team work more effectively together. Here is an idea to collaborate on an Annual Team Calendar. Or you could have your team take the Better Teams Assessment and collaborate on strategies to improve the team dynamics.
It’s tempting to over-schedule an agenda because the time together as a team is rare, but this just leads to exhaustion and overwhelm.
Build in time for people to chill. Chill time is ideally a mix of structured and unstructured time. For a structured chill time example, the team may do something fun together such as take a cooking class, go for a hike, or have a Scavenger Hunt. Unstructured chill time might include a few hours of a break between the meeting and dinner where people can choose to be alone or with others.
Clarification of Next Step Activities
No matter the agenda, there will be action items that emerge and it’s important to capture those. Each meeting needs to end with a review of the actions, who is accountable for each action, and a due date as well.
Each of these activities has a different purpose and is important to use in almost every team building retreat.
There are five types of activities to do at your team retreat or off-site: Connection, Celebration, Collaboration, Chill, and Clarification of Next Steps.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, Team Consultant Academy, and FORWARD, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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