I don’t know about you, but every year goes by way too quickly for me. Sometimes, it feels like we’re not given a moment to pause to breathe and look back at the things we’ve accomplished so far, and then consider what we’re still able to complete by the time the year comes to an end.
A group offsite that you organize with your group can help you accomplish this goal, as long as it is planned and executed according to the correct way. No matter if you employ external facilitators or run the meeting yourself, this guide will offer a few easy tips for making the most of your investment in time, effort, and money.
I consider team offsites to be vital to helping teams improve their effectiveness, relationships, and outcomes; however, they are a substantial commitment in terms of effort, time, and cash. It’s not often that we organize offsites very often. Therefore it’s crucial that when we do, we create them to be as efficient as we can make them.
We often look forward to our team’s offsite as the highlight of the year. We come up with a variety of topics that we can include on the agenda. We’ve some snippets of information to present, and we put off solving interpersonal issues because we believe we’ll tackle those issues at the offsite in the context of team building.
The problem is, even if you’ve got the luxury of a week offsite, it’s possible that we’ll be left with a lot to do and thus fail to tackle the problems we’d like to address. What steps can we take to ensure that we’re getting a return on the investment we made?
1. Be sure to have a clear reason for your offsite.
Why are you experiencing this? Are you trying to recognize or plan results improvements, create the team from scratch, or solve disagreements? There could be a variety of elements of an offsite. Make sure you know their purpose of them. What is it you are trying to accomplish? What will the tangible effects of your offsite be? What will the intangibles of the offsite be?
2. Consider logistics.
Does it make sense to set up the offsite now? Is everyone available? It could be peak vacation time for your company. How long should it last? I see teams trying to accomplish a million things in less than an hour, and you know what? It’s not working.
3. Be bold.
It is possible to be one of the main reasons why you’re having an offsite is to promote changes – whether it’s around relationships, performance, or results. Real change is a real challenge and may involve you in discussions that can be uncomfortable or even uncomfortable. Keep going; it requires determination and courage to complete the things that bring about significant changes. That’s where the leadership capabilities will be at the forefront.
4. Encourage, not DEMAND, the freedom to speak.
Suppose they are inclined to speak out and/or not. Every person in your team is likely to have an opinion. Make sure that you understand the reasons behind it. When you are offsite, it can result in dramatically different behaviors, such as the quiet ones may believe they have the right to speak, and the normally vocal ones may appear to be a bit silent. Whatever the case, ensure that everyone knows that it’s a team-building event, not an information session and that they are required to take an equal part in the gathering.
5. Think about facilitation.
Even if you are adept at staying on track and following an agenda, it’s extremely difficult to fully participate while keeping an eye on the clock, your agenda, and trying to keep an impartial job. You can employ an outside facilitator, or inside your organization does not matter; just ensure they’re competent and impartial. If there are interpersonal problems to resolve, it’s beneficial to have an impartial facilitator who can guide discussions and encourage participants to be more transparent. A competent facilitator can be a challenge to the group and help them make the necessary changes without it becoming personal. It’s an extra expense, but it’s certainly worth it.
If you consider these five factors while you plan your offsite, you’re much more likely to be able to conduct a successful event that leads to positive changes for your group and you.