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The Benefits of Team Building and Offsite Meetings

By Lisa Woods (821 words)
Posted in Leadership & Teambuilding on June 20, 2012

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It is human nature to have a positive correlation between an individual’s motivation and their productivity.   Taking it a step further, a group of motivated individuals can make a productive & creative team which can build better strategies, collaborate better for smoother implementations, develop more innovative products and services and participate in a better work life balance because the stress of everyone out for themselves diminishes.

 

So how do you motivate your team and the individuals on it?  One-way is to effectively manage offsite meetings.  It is amazing the impact of a well-run offsite, especially when it involves prep work and post follow-up activities.

 

Unlike scheduled meetings in the company’s conference room where time is often spent doing emails, exiting for phone calls or witnessing random departures due to conflicting meeting schedules, when you invest your time in an offsite meeting, you have the opportunity to separate the daily grind from the topics at hand.  You can better focus your team and hold them accountable for follow-up.  It also provides an opportunity for team building activities and social interaction that otherwise is spent going back to one's desk and catching up on their work.

 

Here is an example of a successful offsite meeting:

 The Annual Management Meeting (strategy review, annual results, budgets)

  • Prep work: conduct a company wide internal customer service survey and an external survey of your customers to compare it to.
  • Meeting interaction: show survey results and comparisons, assign gaps in the data to different break out teams to work out solutions.  Have them present their ideas to the entire group.  Vote on ideas, document a strategy, and assign accountability and time line.
  • Post follow-up: Share the results of the meeting with the entire organization via a memo, postings, or newsletter.  Hold a follow-up meeting with accountable parties and do a secondary survey in six months to see if changes are happening; communicating those results as well.

 

Some tips when holding offsite meetings:

  • Avoid “informational “ agendas.  Always incorporate interaction and follow-up.  Assign actions, responsibility and commit to a follow-up date.
  • Distribute culture-changing gifts instead of, or in addition to, pens, hats and shirts.  For example, a book regarding different management techniques, sales strategies, innovation, etc.…
  • Hire a professional guest speaker to discuss a topic current with the meeting’s agenda.  Maybe presenting tools used to problem solve, or how another company became successful and the steps they took to get there.
  • Conduct one or two team building exercises either by going to a destination location that offers them (like a high ropes course), many locations offer team building leaders on site, or you can bring in a team building coach to facilitate an afternoon or evening activity.

 

Whether it is a three-day offsite at a destination location with 50 people, or a three-hour meeting at a local conference center with 5 people, getting out of the office makes the meeting more productive.  With a clear agenda and anticipated follow-up, your team will come prepared and all of you will benefit.

 

You can check out our comprehensive list of offsite meeting locations, guest speakers and team building facilitators right here on ManagingAmericans.com.  Click here to see what is available to you.

 

I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!
 

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Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.

 

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Comments (9)

Blake Carbone -LinkedIn posted on: June 29, 2012

It's incredibly important to have team building at an offsite location. When you're in the office you tend to maintain that business mentality. We all play a role depending on the environment we're in. Placing employees outside of a business setting will create a fun and comfortable atmosphere that will encourage trust and collaboration.

E. J. Silverman posted on: August 17, 2012

Thanks for this article. Putting together a job search success team of our own. Gleaned a lot of good ideas.

DANIEL QUIAMBAO posted on: August 20, 2012

ours is a big organization which is Army reservists.We conduct team building every year. I think the best team building I've seen done during an offsite, where our group is sequestered away from normal operations for a few days to focus on a particular task?It was a good exercise because the teams had to first agree on an objective (stay put or walk for help) which then shaped decisions. For us, the best team building opportunities involve community service. It allows a group to work as a cohesive team to solve a real life problem and provide tangible results.

Julian Ferguson posted on: September 25, 2012

Simple, clarity on the outcome required, The right people to achieve the outcomes.Effective preparation either in advance or over the course of the meeting to ensure the group has the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions. Someone credible, capable and responsible for moderating/leading and ensuring decisions are implemented and communicated effectively post the meeting. A venue that creates the right chemistry and keeps everyone positively engaged and contributing. Most meetings fall down on point one or point two.

Lisa Selip posted on: October 1, 2012

A well planned agenda for starters!

ASHISH KAPIL posted on: October 1, 2012

Team building is a constant endeavor where off course right place do make sense but more important is a continuous zeal to build a team with a feeling of winning WE for a common target.

Dennis Sanchez posted on: December 7, 2016

I had heard in the past about the benefits team building could have on a company, but was interested if the same could apply for a sports team. You mentioned that a benefit of having a dedicated team building activity out of the usual work place, is that you can focus completely on the task at hand, and leave the regular work and grind behind. Based on what you wrote, I can see a lot of similarities between a sports team and a business, and am sure they would both benefit from team building activities.

Amanda Drew posted on: September 19, 2017

That sounds like it would be a good idea to make sure to include informal social interaction and team building exercises. People that like to work together can often get everyone to work harder and do better. It'd be smart to know what the best team building activities would be to encourage friendships and healthy competition.

Jocelyn McDonald posted on: October 29, 2018

My sister wants to start her own business, and I suggested she look into team building workshops. Your article had some great points about the benefits of meetings like this, and I liked how you said that it separates the daily grind from the topics at hand. This helps better focus the team and hold them accountable for follow-up, and I'll share this with my sister to help her with her future business team building.

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