Team retreats: TO HOLD OR NOT TO HOLD

It’s the time of the year for company retreats and conferences and annual parties. Public relations includes internal communication as a key element of a PR strategy. In this post, Linda Lee from the improv’ company Acewood gives us the reasons to, or not to hold a retreat.


 

9 REASONS TO HOLD A RETREAT

– To explore fundamental concerns A retreat can be the ideal forum to explore and address underlying causes for issues such as exceptionally low staff morale or a significant drop in customers or an increase in their complaints – To harness the collective creativity of the group Offsite setting away from routine workplace demands can help draw out innovative solutions – To foster change A retreat can promote new approaches to strategic planning, product design or marketing.  The open discussion that characterizes well-run retreats fosters understanding and commitment to new direction – To change perceptions, attitudes and behavior A retreat can be an ideal setting for participants to share information, clear up misunderstandings, discuss the impact of past decisions etc. – To correct course when things are going wrong Retreats provide a forum for discussions about the reasons and the urgency of a desired change.  When people play a role in deciding what should be improved, they are more committed to ensuring that the change effort succeeds. – To transform the organisation’s culture of improve relationships hindering its effectiveness Retreats can help people open up to one another and can create a climate of trust. ( read more)


 

10 REASONS NOT TO HOLD A RETREAT

– To improve morale through the retreat alone A retreat alone can’t improve morale. If people feel they are not heard or their concerns are not taken seriously, the retreat can have a negative impact and participants will feel the retreat was a waste of their time. – To use the retreat to reward people for their hard work People are busy at work already.  If they would find time off, they would prefer to spend it with family and friends! – To discover and punish non-team players This is a terrible reason to have a retreat. If people sense that the leader’s purpose in bringing them together is to find out who is loyal and who is not, it will erode trust and do great harm to the organization’s culture. – To advance a covert agenda If people sense that the boss has organized the retreat to impose his/her idea on the organization, then it will foster resentment and resistance to the boss’s ideas. – To control the conversation You may think by designing the retreat the way you want you can control what’s being discussed and who does the talking.  However, just because something isn’t said doesn’t mean people aren’t thinking about it. Putting things on the table and have an open dialogue is the way to go. – To create a platform for the leader’s own ideas Retreats provide a valuable opportunity for leaders to hear from others.  So listen more and don’t dominate by doing all the talking.  


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