Company Retreats CAN Be The Best Time Spent

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner, leader of a non-profit, or relatively new to one or the other, the old-fashioned word, “Retreat”, should be a part of your vocabulary. We recently held our first company retreat. Initially it was difficult to agree to block off a full day for this reason, but we are so glad that we did! Things had been moving so fast that we found there were several key items that desperately needed to be addressed and talked through. It worked best for us, but we certainly are not recommending a full day to all. For many, a half day would suffice. As you continue reading, we hope to help you through the process of determining what your needs are and what will work best for your company.

Many of us cringe when we hear the word, “retreat”; it denotes thoughts of the longest day ever, being talked at endlessly or mandatory participation in team building exercises that no one enjoys. Have you seen the episode of The Office where Jim learns that staff at the Stamford Dunder Mifflin branch play the intense war video game “Call of Duty”? The tradition began there as a team building exercise.

Enough said. 😉 There is no question that there are benefits to team building, and to bringing your staff together. The hard parts are to stay on task and to not let time get away from you so that all in attendance feel the value.

Here we’ve “spelled out” some important guidelines and topics to tackle. We guarantee they will help you to consider your next retreat a success.

R = Reaching Goals: Do you have a strategic plan in place? We have found that this is critical for moving toward your goals. If you don’t know where to begin with the process of creating one, here is the link to an article in Forbes Magazine that is a good starting point.

E = Engagement: Are you successfully engaging with your current, past and potential clients? Thoughts and new ideas on how to become more effective will keep your business a step ahead.

T = Timeline: Where do you want to be in the next 6 months, 1 year, 5 years? This is a critical discussion for realizing goals.

R = Reflection: Spend some time looking back on where you started or where you left off the last time you and staff got together. What have you learned? What would you change?

E = Evaluate: Where does your business fall in relation to competitors? Identify what is different about your operation and how you can improve advertising and other efforts to reflect that.

A = Agenda: Prepare an agenda. Provide copies to attendees and stick to it! If you are at a loss to come up with a meaningful list of discussion items, ask staff leadership (or staff themselves) for suggestions.

T = The Voices: Listen to your staff. Open the floor so that their ideas and suggestions are heard in an open and non-judgmental forum or brainstorm together.

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