Team building retreats can be incredibly rewarding and effective. They can also be a complete waste of time and energy, leaving everyone frustrated and drained. What can you do to make sure that your next team building retreat is a success? Here are 5 tips.
Step 1: Understand the goals
Before you can have a successful team building retreat, you have to make sure you understand what you are trying to accomplish. What does “success” mean in terms of this event? Is the goal to provide a space where members of the team will understand their strengths and weaknesses? Are you trying to forge lasting relationships with members of the team? These goals have unique needs and the activities required for each of these retreats will be very different.
Step 2: Get everyone involved
Ideally all of the team members would be in attendance. This is critical because it helps ensure that no one feels left out and helps forge a sense of team unity. Having all of the members involved in a non-work activity is empowering because they learn how to be a team outside of the workplace which strengthens the team dynamic at work even more.
Step 3: Take the team off campus
If it is in the budget, get the team off campus. Travelling to a new location adds a sense of adventure and wonder to the trip. It is also incredibly powerful to get the team out of their familiar surroundings and into new territory. Being out of the office can have a huge impact on the outcome and how the team feels when the event is over. Returning to the office with a refreshed enthusiasm will make everyone more productive and the team more efficient.
Step 4: Make it fun
Although it may be tempting to use the standard ice breaker type activities, they feel stale and forced. Instead consider incorporating activities that are fun to allow the team to come together more organically. Things like horseback riding or paddle boating are examples of activities that allow the team to engage in a new experience together. This helps open lines of communication as team members begin to talk about their experiences and understand how they engage.
Step 5: Ask for feedback
When it’s all said and done, you need to know if what you planned was effective. The best way to make sure you get value out of the experience is to ask the team members. Whether this is facilitated through an open discussion or anonymously through a survey, this information is critical to understand what worked and what didn’t. Once you have this, you will be even better prepared when it comes time to plan another team event.
Using these 5 tips, you can make your next team building retreat fun and effective so that your team comes back with a renewed sense of purpose and togetherness. When your team feels valued, and the members are working toward a common goal, your organization will be more efficient and ready to tackle future challenges.