15 Steps for Planning Team Building Retreats

Team Building Retreat DubaiWith Q3 winding down and significant fluctuations on the stock market and in the global economy, it's important for companies to pause, take stock of where they are, and map out their strategy for Q4 and beyond. If course corrections are needed, now is the time to make the critical decisions that will bring them about.

Regardless of a company's level of performance, a team building retreat is the perfect vehicle for achieving all of these objectives.

To plan a team building retreat that adds value follow these steps,

  1. Set clear and specific objectives.
  2. Select an internal or external facilitator.
  3. Crowdsource the content with participant profiles and learning styles surveys distributed to all participants.
  4. Ask participants to reserve tentative dates.
  5. Identify the content to be covered.
  6. Set the timeframe.
  7. Select a theme to reflect organizational realities, and the goals and objectives for the retreat. (Highly recommended.) Examples: wilderness team building, desert survival
  8. Select the venue.

    Team Building RetreatTeam building retreats can be offered in town or out of town. They don't always have to involve going off-site to a resort or luxury hotel. In fact, if budgets are tight, all are part of the retreat can be offered on-site and participants don't have to stay overnight at a hotel. Other strategies for offering retreats affordable include using:
    • a meeting room at the location of another branch of your organization
    • a meeting room at the office of a supplier
    • a function room at a public library or museum
    • a banquet hall during business hours on weekdays
    • a community center
    • a church hall during business hours
    • a summer camp during off-season
    • a chalet or other meeting facility at a conservation area
    • an inn or boutique hotel in a suburb or small town nearby
    • the cottage of a member of the executive team
    • a school, college, or university on a day when classes are not scheduled (e.g. PD days, reading week)
    The Cvent Supplier Network has a wide variety of venues that are suitable for team building retreats.

    Facing budget constraints? Check out Cvent's listing of Exclusive Deals and Promotional Rates on Event Space,  all over the world.

  9. Communicate the selected dates and location.
  10. Team BondingThe facilitator prepares an executive briefing for the team about the focus of the retreat tow which the executive can add a review of performance to date and the Q4 targets that need to be hit.
  11. The facilitator designs the participant material and obtains approval and sign-off from the executive sponsor.
  12. Plan catering.
  13. Conduct the retreat and include:
    • executive briefing to link team building to organizational realities
    • team briefing to set the context.
    • facilitated team building exercises.
    • an activity to encourage team bonding even if the retreats is in town. Keep it is short if budget is a concern. (Believe it or not, the photo to the right is one stop along the way for an urban safari conducted just east of downtown Toronto.)
    • debriefing
    • business applications exercises
  14. Engage in mid-course corrections.
  15. Conduct a post-mortem.

For more tips for planning team building retreats also consult Meetings 411: Staying On course for Q4, Team Building: 10 Key Questions to Ask Before Requesting Proposals, Meetings 411: Checklist for Selecting Team Building Facilitators, Breaking Down Silos Takes a Team Effort, 8 Tips for Planning Small Team Meetings, 7 Team Building Tips for Small Teams, On-Site Team Building: When Time Gets Cut To The Bare Minimum, and Team Building Guide For Executives.

On Wednesdays, the Cvent Event Blog regularly profiles resorts, hotels and other event venues for team building and executive retreats.

Photo Credits: Team Building Retreats, Executive Oasis International

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