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Edition 15 – Team Retreats

I recently had the privilege of presenting a session at the team retreat for a Family Business client. We held an interactive session designed to introduce the team to the strategic direction of the business.

The session was valuable for the team members as it allowed them to engage with the owners on a different level than would normally occur day to day.

By holding the team retreat outside of the normal business environment, it created an atmosphere of the team wanting to know what was going on in the business, where it was going and what their role in it would be in the future.

However, I believe the people that gained the most value out of the team retreat session that I conducted was the owners themselves.

You see, the environment we created in the session was collaborative. Everyone was interacting. Some of it was serious. Some of it was funny. And that enabled the team to let down their guard and pass on some feedback to the owners.

Before you envision that a bloodbath took place, let me inform you that it was, in fact, the complete opposite.

The team felt the business operated at a higher level of efficiency and customer service than what the owners did. Not only did they say that, they relayed situations of client interaction where matters had been resolved quickly and they had genuinely demonstrated care in their work.

The team felt the owners of the business set a very high standard for the business. Accordingly, they felt obliged to maintain that high standard. The team were happy to report they operated at that level.

The team felt they learned a lot in their roles and were operating at a higher level than what they would have done if they had worked for one of their competitors, including some household multi national names.

So, the team owners went into the Team Retreat hoping to upskill their staff and introduce them to the future of the business. What they didn’t expect was the positive and encouraging feedback about the business from their own team.

There was a noticeable spring in their step when the session ended.

Here’s some tips for a successful team retreat for your Family Business:

  1. Hold it offsite — preferably a location that involves a little bit of travel.
  2. Have an overnight stay — sometimes you learn more after hours than you do in the sessions throughout the day.
  3. Give your team a window onto the future — everyone likes to know they’ve backed a winner and where they are going, even your employees.
  4. Throw in some technical training — depending on your industry, technical training for employees is compulsory. Why not make it part of your team retreat?
  5. Mix it up — there should be a mix of policy, technical training, strategic direction all throughout the retreat. Mixing it up keeps them awake.
  6. Make it fun — throw in some activities that create fun and a sense of wanting to be there. There’s nothing more boring than a full day of technical training, delivered by people who are almost as bored as their audience.

This Week’s Tip

Why not consider a Team Retreat for your Family Business? You never know what nuggets of gold your employees may pass on.