1. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Tee your retreat up for success by thinking through the logistics well in advance. Create a small retreat planning committee and assign roles for pre, during and post-retreat follow-up. Be mindful of personalities, generations, and work styles.
2. Set clear goals.
What is your team hoping to accomplish? What topics are you tackling? Strategic planning? Board development? Communication issues?
3. Remove barriers.
Don’t underestimate the stress a day away from the office can cause for your co-workers. Allow designated time for checking cell phones, e-mail. Consider if people have childcare, eldercare or other responsibilities outside of work that factor into timing. Be sensitive to people’s fears and anxieties when planning activities. (Ziplining– really?)
4. Don’t overschedule.
The magic often happens during the unscheduled moments. Allow time for team members to relax, laugh together and get to know each other better.
5. Define and evaluate success.
At the end of your retreat, what’s the takeaway? What will make this investment worthwhile for individuals and for your team? How will you evaluate?
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