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  • Writer's pictureIeva Felman

How team offsites can bring long-term benefits to your company.


team offsite meeting

This is the 1st article in a 3 part series where we will share our lessons learned and tips & tricks on the importantilding blocks (why, how, and what) for a successful offsite meeting.


In this series, we will share our experience with organising team offsites for remote, international, and fast-growing startups. You will learn how offsite meetings can help with your company's team building and engagement efforts, help to understand if your team could benefit from offsite meetings, and will learn about building blocks that you need to have a successful and efficient offsite that will reach the goals.


Why are offsite meetings important?


Good communication is essential for productive teamwork, everyone knows that. There are tons of suggestions on how to improve team communication and engagement to boost productivity. Unfortunately, most of them are for corporate in-office environments. This is not relevant for modern ways of working in dynamic and often remote organizations. For fast-growing startups and scale-ups, apart from challenges any company is dealing with in regard to how to make sure the team members are engaged and communication between them is efficient, face additional layers of complexity that come with the fact each employee is at their own location and new colleagues are joining every week. That can create a real and sometimes urgent challenge for many especially during and after active hiring periods because it will be crucial to the company's success and ability to reach their ambitious growth and expansion goals.


“Sure, there are tons of technical solutions for communication, engagement, and productivity boost, but still, nothing beats real-life connections”

 

How to benefit from real-life connections while managing a remote team?


When looking for ways to improve productivity, engagement, and communication in your company the most obvious answer can be the right one. Even if a remote team and real-life connections sound like an oxymoron it shouldn't be that way. One of the best ways to achieve a company's team-building goals is by simply bringing them together in one place for a few days so they can meet colleagues they so far know only through online meetings, emails, and slack groups.


“People like to work with other people and by meeting and getting to know the person behind the screen can make real changes in how the team works together.“

It's also one of the most efficient solutions that in a short time, with quick implementation and reasonable cost will bring long-term benefits.


The benefits of offsite meetings are:

  • Meeting the person behind the online meeting windows (often empty or with static pictures). Fun fact, many offsite participants admitted that their biggest surprise about their colleagues is how tall they are.

  • Have focused work sessions. No one's kid, cat, dog, or partner will walk into the meeting. No delivery will be made. No one will be eating, drinking, drying hair, or making dinner during the meeting. This will be a time when everyone will have the same undivided attention.

  • Know your colleagues better. It's amazing that you have a slack book club and pet lovers channel, but to be fair, it's not the same as during the conversation discovering your colleague was on the national polo team or that her dream is to write a book.

  • Align values, culture, and goals. There is no better way to know a person than to go on a trip with them. That will be the moment to let your company values shine and to onboard new hires in the company culture and present goals.

  • Make memories together. People connect through stories and experiences. This is the opportunity to create those for your team.

  • Learn together and learn how to work together. This is especially crucial to rapidly growing teams and a great opportunity to transfer knowledge and improve communication. It's also a great opportunity to detect natural leaders in the team, which will be the colleagues others will go to for advice and support.


All of those benefits will leave a long-term impact on how your team works, communicates, and engages when back to the online environment, which in most cases are the main goals companies are looking to reach with organising offsite meetings.

 

What happens in the company offsite?


When you have figured out, on your own or with the help of professionals, the WHY and the HOW it's time to get to WHAT as that will depend on the purpose and the result you want to achieve.

team-offsite

We will go into more detail in later articles, but we want to highlight a few important points to keep in mind when deciding how the team offsite will look like.

In the case of offsite meetings, the destination is less important than the journey. Once you know how the journey should look, destination choice will come naturally.


“Focus on quality time together, figure out what you want to do and what actually suits your team as teams are as different as the people forming them.”

When talking about quality time, you need to define clear goals for the offsite. If you arrive at the most creatively stimulating destination without a clear plan, that will be a waste of time and money. Be also clear about the goals with the team upfront. We have heard some stories when the team just went partying every day because of a lack of guidance, agenda, and leadership.

Even if being part of the benefits package and sometimes serving as a reward for a job well done, team offsite meetings are not just a vacation with colleagues. That will also help to keep things professional, the last thing you want after coming back from offsite is lawsuits and firing half of the team.

team-building-activities

The phrase – what happens in team offsite, stays in team offsite, shouldn't exist, at least not if you want to build a professional, transparent and inclusive environment in your company. Team offsites should be something the company and employees can proudly talk about publicly. Also, because it will be part of employee branding and company culture forming, so make sure it counts.


Check out our next articles for more details and tips, or just drop us a message at offsites@insidersnetwork.co and let's arrange a call to discuss how we can help you to reach your team-building goals.


organise remote team offsite

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