In today’s technological and digital world, an organization might have multiple offices in several cities, communicating only through email and video conferencing on a regular basis. When working remotely, it’s not uncommon for some co-workers to never meet face-to-face.
This week, for the first time, Nonprofit Resources had almost all of its staff in the same room for a three day-long staff retreat. This time was used getting to know and connect with new staff, gain more focus on our client needs, reflect on company and self-development, and having lots of fun!
- Improve Company Morale
- Stress Reduction
- Identifying Hidden Talents
Joan Garry, our trusted resource for all things nonprofit, has a great list of the top 10 ingredients your nonprofit can use while planning a board or staff retreat.
- The retreat must be owned by its participants. A top down approach is a recipe for failure. If YOU want to have a retreat because YOU think that the group should be discussing what YOU want, re-think and re-frame. When a group has a shared investment in the goals and outcomes, you all win.
- Hire a facilitator who doesn’t simply direct traffic and keep the “queue.” I always joke with my clients that if I have one weakness as a facilitator, it’s keeping the queue. I’m too busy listening, capturing ideas, synthesizing, and helping to clarify the important points people are trying to make. You are hiring someone who is outside of your process; be sure that this person is smart, strategic and is a first rate listener. That is how you take fullest advantage of the objective point of view. Oh, one more thing. Hire a facilitator who is not afraid of being honest with the head honcho. This will be key in prepping her/him and in debriefing as well.
- Reach out to every single retreat participant for input. Ask each participant to answer a single question like, “This retreat will be a success for me if _________________,” and send the responses to your facilitator. This gets you important information and buy-in.
Check out all 10 of Joan’s Top 10 Ingredient’s, plus one bonus ingredient to ensure a successful retreat. You can read the full article here.