Your team is in many ways your most important asset in the organisation. The team makes things happen or not to happen. Ensuring that the team is working at its best is important. As is the nature of work, stress and fatigue are never absent. Great leaders are always finding a way to de-stress and keep their teams energized. One of those ways is staff retreats.
Staff retreats can be carried out at any point in the year. This doesn’t mean that the timing should be random. A staff retreat at the beginning of the year provides direction and synergy to start off on the right foot. A retreat at the end of the year is a time to celebrate achievement and evaluate the year. When carried out in the middle of the year, a retreat can serve the purpose of monitoring progress.
Management or the leadership team does not need to shoulder the task of organizing the retreat. An organizing committee can be co-opted for this function. It helps to have this team balanced across all levels so that everyone feels represented. This is also an opportunity to study the leadership abilities of individuals as they go about this task.
Staff retreats can be off-site or on-site. However, on-site staff retreats are not usually appreciated by staff members because of the need to change the environment. The agenda of the retreat ought to be balanced such that it does not become an extension of work. Preferably topics on personal development like work-life balance and personal financial management among others should be handled. Team building activities should also be included so as to maximize the opportunity for team bonding.
The facilitation of staff retreats is another important area to think about ahead of time. Often times, leaders are disturbed by the fact that nothing changes after such a steep investment. The selection of the right facilitators in-house or outsourced is vital. In the end, the retreat should not only be memorable but transformational too.