Guide to Hosting Impactful Offsites

WorkTripp™ is about helping companies think more deeply about their offsites to create an amazing employee experience covering collective experience, leadership and learning.

Below are some ways to galvanise your team pre, during and post offsite. It’s this interconnectedness which is the strength of your organisation.
Don’t start with logistics
#1: Don’t start with logistics

So many meetings, events and offsites start with logistics and aren’t half ambitious enough, but in the new world of work and a fierce talent recruitment landscape team offsites are crucial to get right.

This matters if you want to recruit and retain your top talent, onboard successfully and build powerful and productive teams. It matters because of employee wellbeing and upskilling.

So start with your purpose, set down your goals, and understand which specialists you need to bring in: facilitators, coaches, or inspiring speakers. This is a crucial time to crack critical business problems, solve team disputes or coach your founder as they drive a scaling business forward.
Environment is everything, go outside to energise your team & spark creative ideas.
#2: Environment is all, take things outside

Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration.

They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person's creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking, with increased ideational fluency.

Leaders from Charles Darwin to Steve Jobs have harnessed this idea. Don’t squash your big ideas into a boring meeting room. Get outside of the cities and into a different environment to properly connect and respect the time you have together.

Energise with activities and collective experiences that bond you together.

Prioritise connection time

#3: Prioritise connection time

It’s tempting to see all hours of a team offsite as something you need to pack with business content to get your ROI.

But, as one of our customers recently said, connection time IS the ROI. In this remote-first world, building connection time is key.

According to researchers at MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory “conversations outside of formal meetings are the most important factor that contribute to team success.”

Chase Warrington, Head of Remote at Doist talks about the 50/30/20 rule: 50 % of time at team offsites should be for colleagues to connect in the way they want, 30% should be organised connection time (and fun), and 20% should be for business matters.

Think carefully about who attends, and set a tone which welcomes everyone to “drop the act” and speak truthfully about themselves and the business.

Start big, end big - create a lasting impression.

#4: Start big, end big

The way we think means we remember the start and end of activities the most.

In The Art of Gathering, by Priya Parker writes “Your opening needs to be a kind of pleasant shock therapy. It should grab people.” Pay attention to how you warm your team up to the goals of your offsite - business problem solving, or intrigue over employee experiences, or thinking about company culture.

Perhaps you hike to your venue? Perhaps you have a pledge everyone signs up to on their bespoke invite? Perhaps you have a pre-event dinner? End with a meaningful event - a long table dinner somewhere striking - not a fizzle-out wrap up speech.

What keepsakes can remind everyone about your time together?

Build team offsites into your working year

#5: Build team offsites into your working year

More and more companies are creating work from anywhere + quarterly team offsites into their working policy.

These include Airbnb, Shopify, Vestd, Hopin, Unlock and many, many more.

Be intentional about your own team offsite dates so that your teams see this as part of their stable working environment.

Set your goals and measure the impact of each offsite; build ongoing learning-plans and support around the needs of your team identified at the offsite.

Remember to tailor each offsite to the goals so you don’t get stuck in a rut or unintentional leave certain team members out.
For the complete downloadable guide, click here
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