Through powerful strategic conversation, a well-planned, well-executed offsite has the potential to break new ground in team productivity. But after the offsite, once everybody returns to the office, that event you had last week, two weeks back, last month rapidly fades from view. An offsite’s success is marked by its derived action items and how readily they’re applied to the team’s initiatives. Getting the most out of your offsite down the road requires advanced planning from the start. Keep reading to find out the best strategies for making your offsite worthwhile, how to apply what you’ve learned, and how to hold your team accountable in Arden Coaching’s post “After the Offsite” below.
Rewind: Did You Establish Specific Intended Outcomes?
Before we dive into what can be done after an offsite, we need to rewind to the planning phase. What did you establish that your team wanted to get out of the offsite early on? Your specific intended outcomes should have had exact dates by which each stage would be completed as well as predetermined owners on the team who would be responsible for pushing the project along. For example, holding an offsite with the intention of improving your company’s customer service process doesn’t have clear, actionable objectives. Holding an offsite to decrease customer complaints by a minimum of 20% by June 15 of this year with Bob, Dale, and Marla owning the project does.
Press Play: Write Your Follow-Up Plan During the Offsite
In order to hold your team members to attaining the goals set out during planning, you need to discuss a detailed follow-up plan during one of your offsite sessions. Your follow-up plan should set out specific dates, such as, “Let’s revisit these topics on February 1 at 3 pm.” It should also decide intermediary milestones, such as, “Let’s have another offsite on March 15 to ensure that we move on to the next phase of our goal.” It’s important that you write time into your offsite’s agenda for creating a follow-up plan. Remember, making sure that you have enough time for thorough discussion is one of the essential constituents of planning a successful offsite, and your follow-up plan is undoubtedly included!
Fast-Forward: Discuss Possible Derailers and How to Avoid Them
How foolproof is your follow-up strategy? When working out the specifics of how individual team members will move the project forward, try looking ahead to sort out the biggest dangers that could possibly get in the way of attaining your goal. Ask your team to call out three potential problems that could hold things up and then identify how (with time on your side now) you can work together to avoid them. Maybe you have an inkling that another executive you’ll need approval from isn’t going to take to the new direction you’re going in. Instead of having him or her shut it down when you bring it up, figure out how you can get them on board now.
Chasing a Successful Offsite? You’re About to Catch Up
A lot goes into holding an offsite with your team — from weeks of planning to booking the right venue and facilitator, inviting the key players, and crafting ground rules, all the way up to the main event: tuning team members in to current performance, critical barriers, and what needs to change in order to get back on track. Make sure that the hard work you put into your offsite pays off by following these tips brought to you by Arden Coaching. In the planning stages now? Connect with us to see how we do offsite facilitation a little differently and how much stronger your team’s results could be.