With January here and gone, chances are you’ve had some time to review how your teams are performing, and you may have identified one or two that could use some help getting back on track. Putting on an offsite facilitation is a great way to take an inventory of team accomplishments and remaining tasks, clear up conflicts, and jump-start productivity.
But careful planning needs to go into offsites or they just become perpetuations of what’s already not working instead of sessions that produce new ideas and better ways to go about project initiatives. Check out Arden Coaching’s planning tips for a successful offsite below.
Offsite Planning Tip 1: Choose an Outside Facilitator and Go Offsite!
If you have a team that’s run into some challenges or conflicts, it’s wise to choose an outside facilitator who will be able to be bring an (at times sorely needed) objectivity to the situation. There will always be some element of bias if you decide to stay in-house, which is why hiring a professional facilitator to help the team navigate the needed conversations is the best use of your time and money.
It’s also important that these discussions happen at a location that’s different from the everyday space the team works in. Going offsite will help them get away from stressors of the conflict and better focus on the issues at hand.
Offsite Planning Tip 2: Plan Offsite Contents with Your Facilitator
Once you’ve chosen the facilitator who will orchestrate the offsite, you’ll want to work closely with him or her to establish the following:
- A specific agenda: The who, what, when, where, why, and how of it all. In this portion, be sure to structure your agenda with sufficient time for thorough discussions of the issues and leave room for coffee and snack breaks. Also be sure to include social, non-discussion time for participants to process conversation topics outside the conversation.
- Ground rules for the engagement: From following your agenda to showing respect and being open to all suggestions, ground rules will help offsite sessions be as productive as possible.
- Intended outcomes: What do you hope to walk away with after the offsite? What do you want team members to be able to better understand or come to terms with?
Offsite Planning Tip 3: Limit Regular Work Involvement of Participants
It’s difficult to get to the meat of team dynamics and work through complications with phones buzzing nonstop. Remind participants to take the necessary steps ahead of time so they can disconnect from the office while involved in the offsite. If you can, provide them with assistance in handling their work load while they’re away so they can to fully contribute without feeling overloaded or compromised.
Successful offsite planning largely lies in finding the right facilitator for your team. Arden Coaching’s facilitator coaches bring a new perspective to the meeting table, helping your team to focus on the issues at hand and forge on ahead.
To learn more about offsite facilitation with Arden, contact us for a chat!