Strategize and Implement Management Retreats to Boost Employee Motivation

By: Mark Cohen

Employees work in an organization for a purpose. They want their job to be meaningful and wish to get involved and work towards an objective. Meticulously planned and well thought-out management retreats encourage active participation and boost staff motivation. Only then, proper decisions can be taken for the overall development of an enterprise. It will also help you tackle complicated and long-standing business problems. In this article, we are, therefore, going to discuss how planning and implementation can be done.

Selecting a Venue

If budget permits, you can choose an out-of-town venue outside the office. It can be a serene place surrounded by greenery. On the contrary, if there are budget constraints, a conference room is fine provided it is outside the company premises. The room should have comfy chairs, windows, and enough space so that groups can perform some activity. These activities can be anything like games, brainteasers, or a quiz session. The first day should end with some interesting events like having tea, coffee, cheese, good bread, or whatever. This will indicate that such a session is not merely business as usual.

Decide on a Facilitator

When it comes to team building retreats, deciding on the facilitator is most crucial. Letís cite an example. Say for instance, there are more than 15-20 participants involved. In such a situation, an outside person will prove beneficial. Again, outside help is needed when there are aggressive individuals within a group. An outside organizer will be able to tackle conflicts and disagreements in a neutral manner. Moreover, he or she will clarify and pacify a conflict situation.
What attributes would you be looking for in a facilitator? A qualified and experienced person will be able to deal with complex issues in a manner that encourages participation. The person concerned should have some knowledge of business issues, member disagreements and how to resolve them.
The individual in question should have organizational knowledge and experience to understand what issues need to be discussed and what not. He or she should also take a call when a particular problem has been given enough attention. In other words, the facilitator should push for the closure of a problem that has been discussed satisfactorily.
The concerned professional must be an outstanding listener, good speaker, motivator, and adept in asking open-ended questions. Additionally, the person should be able to ensure full participation.

Developing Agenda

Developing a proper agenda for management retreats is imperative. First try to identify what are the key issues that need to be discussed. Make a list and prioritize. The people participating in the session can be surveyed using writing pads and pen. A number of open-ended questions can be asked, or questions based on a scale of 1-5 can be part of the agenda. Once the agenda is decided, itís time to implement.
To infer, it can be stated that the success of such retreats depends on cooperation, participation, proper planning, choosing the right facilitator, drawing up the agenda, and discussing relevant issues.

What are your views on this subject? Please leave your comments.

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Mark Cohen has been an organizational head for the past twenty years and he well understands the essence of management retreats and team building retreats to make companies grow and develop with maximum potential.

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