The Benefits of Team Building and Offsite Meetings
Is your conference room the right place for team building?
It is human nature to have a positive correlation between an individual’s motivation and their productivity. Taking it a step further, a group of motivated individuals can make a productive & creative team which can build better strategies, collaborate better for smoother implementations, develop more innovative products and services and participate in a better work life balance because the stress of everyone out for themselves diminishes.
So how do you motivate your team and the individuals on it? One-way is to effectively manage offsite meetings. It is amazing the impact of a well-run offsite, especially when it involves prep work and post follow-up activities.
Unlike scheduled meetings in the company’s conference room where time is often spent doing emails, exiting for phone calls or witnessing random departures due to conflicting meeting schedules, when you invest your time in an offsite meeting, you have the opportunity to separate the daily grind from the topics at hand. You can better focus your team and hold them accountable for follow-up. It also provides an opportunity for team building activities and social interaction that otherwise is spent going back to one’s desk and catching up on their work.
Here is an example of a successful offsite meeting:
The Annual Management Meeting (strategy review, annual results, budgets)
- Prep work: conduct a company wide internal customer service survey and an external survey of your customers to compare it to.
- Meeting interaction: show survey results and comparisons, assign gaps in the data to different break out teams to work out solutions. Have them present their ideas to the entire group. Vote on ideas, document a strategy, and assign accountability and time line.
- Post follow-up: Share the results of the meeting with the entire organization via a memo, postings, or newsletter. Hold a follow-up meeting with accountable parties and do a secondary survey in six months to see if changes are happening; communicating those results as well.
Some tips when holding offsite meetings:
- Avoid “informational “ agendas. Always incorporate interaction and follow-up. Assign actions, responsibility and commit to a follow-up date.
- Distribute culture-changing gifts instead of, or in addition to, pens, hats and shirts. For example, a book regarding different management techniques, sales strategies, innovation, etc.…
- Hire a professional guest speaker to discuss a topic current with the meeting’s agenda. Maybe presenting tools used to problem solve, or how another company became successful and the steps they took to get there.
- Conduct one or two team building exercises either by going to a destination location that offers them (like a high ropes course), many locations offer team building leaders on site, or you can bring in a team building coach to facilitate an afternoon or evening activity.
Whether it is a three-day offsite at a destination location with 50 people, or a three-hour meeting at a local conference center with 5 people, getting out of the office makes the meeting more productive. With a clear agenda and anticipated follow-up, your team will come prepared and all of you will benefit.
Written by Lisa Woods, President Lisa Woods Consulting & Founder of ManagingAmericans.com
Lisa is a dynamic business leader & author located in Western New York with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she partners with business leaders to understand their vision, identify internal and external roadblocks, define a practical strategic path forward and guide a successful transformation. This work includes strategy definition & goal setting, organizational design, facilitating team buy-in, establishing visual metrics, internal and external research studies, business feasibility assessments, and investor insight into organizational strength, weakness & strategic opportunity. She helps business leaders drive growth & increase profits.
Strategic Consulting ǀ Management Consulting: Strategy Realized