Leaders and organizations plan retreats to help bring employees together or conduct some planning but, too often, they endure events where everyone means well but nothing really gets done and people leave more confused than they were before. It happens all the time because we tend to complicate things more than we need to.
Successful retreats help the participants accomplish what they want without creating more confusion or acting as a band-aid that doesn’t actually fix anything. Here are some practical tips to think about before you plan your next retreat:
- What do you want to accomplish? Think of what your top priority is rather than trying to jam a million things into the agenda.
- Make sure all key players are present, attendance is not optional. I recommend that all top managers, including owners be present.
- Do you have a plan for the event. What will be happening and who will make it happen?
- Do you have an outside facilitator with no vested interest or personal connections with the company to facilitate the event.
- Have you scheduled enough time and secured a venue that allows interruption-free participation?
- Is the location easy to access and is the venue comfortable and conducive to positive interaction?
- Does everyone have a clear understanding of what will be happening at the retreat and who is expected to be there?
- Have you thought of ways to encourage participation and make the event an enjoyable experience?
A carefully planned retreat can help your organization move forward, clarify your vision and focus your efforts. The key is to plan an event that leaves people wanting to succeed rather than feeling confused. What are your thoughts on creating a positive retreat?