A few days ago we celebrated in Cyberclick our Winter Retreat. For 2 days we retired from the temptations of the modern world and went to the field to connect with our most creative part and promote team unity. Moving the office to a rural house helped us disconnect from the daily routine to focus only on creating the goals for the quarter and doing exercises to bring the group closer together. Here I am going to detail the questions that you and your team have to ask yourself to create the ideal retreat for a company (which is how we do it in Cyberclick) .
More than once, business leaders have asked us “is it necessary to do a retreat together?” and we or David Tomás, the founder of our beloved company, have answered “what do you think?” . As staunch practitioners of these retreats and fans of them, we will say that they can be a great tool for the company. Because the team can return more motivated to the office. But not everyone is the same. Withdrawals can be far-reaching, but they must involve the right people at the right time.
If you have created your own happy team, as David explains in his recent book “The happiest company in the world” then everyone in the group will be delighted to participate in the retreat. Retreats allow us to step outside of our daily responsibilities and see work from another perspective. This way you can access different parts of the mind and heart and take our work to another level in a powerful way.
But what makes a withdrawal worthwhile? How do you know if you are wasting time or not? If you have clearly identified the goals for which you are taking your team away, then you are in luck. You are a crack and you have things very clear. But, if not, then I recommend that you first answer these questions and discover whether or not you should make a “spiritual” and work retreat with the people of your company.
1 # What is your focus?
A company break to work outside the usual environment is a great tool when a group has something important to work together. For example, at Cyberclick we use it to define quarter goals in the winter retreat and annual goals in the August retreat. Other points to put the focus on can be:
- Development of company strategy
- Conflict resolution
- Work agreements
- A new initiative
- Action planning
These and others are interesting reasons to carry out this type of event. Thus the getaway becomes a refuge where to innovate, see new possibilities and visualize the organization in a different way, to then apply it to the daily routine.
2 # What about team personal relationships?
It is important to know how to build the team. This aspect is worked in 2 ways: previously during the selection process and then on a day-to-day basis during working hours.
When looking for a new member of the team, we must choose highly trained and motivated people for the functions they are going to perform, but we must also look for individuals who are aligned with corporate values and those of the rest of the team. One method that helps find the right professionals is to involve part of the team in the interviews of the selection process and then have a say in deciding whether or not that person enters.
On the other hand, when people are already within the organization, working on personal relationships should be a daily habit. Here retreats can be a very powerful tool for this purpose. Interaction with company colleagues outside the office can help build a strong social base and better discover what each member is like on a personal level.
In retreats you can work, but also look for moments of leisure and laughter. This way you can better align interpersonal relationships with the objectives of the organization and also allow colleagues to think and plan together more successfully.
3 # Who should plan the retreat?
We recommend that the entire team participate. The entire getaway can be broken down into multiple tasks and one or a few people take responsibility for each of them. This way everyone is involved, feels an important part of the retreat and the motivation to go on the getaway rises. An example of task distribution would be:
- Search and management of the rental of the home to be used during the days of retreat
- Design of diets and food purchases
- Selection of transport and way to get to the destination
- Planning of the tasks to be carried out at every moment of the day during the duration of the getaway
- Cooking equipment on every meal shift
- Leisure team: Design of leisure activities
- Planning team motivation dynamics: Cohesion exercises
In planning, as in all aspects of retirement, following a pre-defined and agreed upon schedule before leaving the office helps optimize time and work. Everyone is clear about what should be done at each moment and how much time is devoted to each activity.
4 # Who is to go?
At Cyberclick we will tell you that the whole team has to go! But we understand that each company is a world and has its own internal operating mechanisms, leading to the decision of who should go and when. If the organization has a considerable volume of professionals, you can always make trips by areas or departments or in small work teams.
5 # How long should the retreat last?
Several factors must be taken into account to make this decision:
- What do you want to achieve or need to solve. So it will depend on whether the withdrawal is longer or shorter.
- How much time can each person on the team spend on this activity . Since it supposes a complete dedication, involving sleeping away from home.
- If you have to travel very far or it is a proximity getaway.
At Cyberclick we dedicate two days and one night to the winter getaway, but in the summer, as we set the annual goals, we usually spend three days and two nights away from the office. Of course, always agreeing that we all do well and looking for it to be during the week.
6 # Where should the retreat be done?
The location of the getaway can determine the success of the getaway. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:
- Outside the office it is almost always better. Better. Although doing a retreat in the office can also be something innovative if space allows.
- Make it an appropriate place to spend the night.
- What level of comfort are you looking for? It is essential for us to have an Internet connection, since part of the time is spent working.
- Find a special and unusual place.
- That fits the budget that is.
7 # How should participants be prepared?
The entire team must come to the shelter to have a full understanding of its purpose, to know the points of planning and the desired results. Expectations must be clear and shared. That everyone has the relevant information and the schedule in advance can mark the success or failure of the entire retreat. In this way people will start the getaway with the necessary knowledge, helping to encourage encouragement and the desire to participate.
In the end, a retreat is an adventure that takes the entire team to another place, away from the office, to seek creativity, motivation, create more union between all members of the company and improve the work that will later be carried out in the office. Of course, without ever forgetting the mythical moments of leisure, which for example leaves us the night karaoke after a session of mojitos + snacks. Our art to sing can be questioned, but in motivation and desire nobody surpasses us.
I hope that the post was clarifying and that it helps you to promote quality and fruitful retreats. For anything you can ask us or present your experiences.