How Important are Team Retreats?

Team retreats are a lot of work. Retreats take time to organize and the cost associated with hosting a retreat can be a huge deterrent. The time away from the office, the lost hours in billable work, and the amount of hosting a retreat can be costly.

With all those reasons, are team retreats worth it?  

To be honest, I don’t believe you can afford not to have them. Even if your team is small, your business can’t move in the same direction without touching base with your team on their dreams, goals, and pain points. If you don’t know where you’re headed or have the right people on the bus, you’re not going to wind up where you want to be. Multiply this by years or even decades of a team not moving in the same direction and you can see why business owners and employees end up unhappy and unfulfilled.  

Take a moment to recognize Employee

Team retreats improve team morale. It serves the irreplaceable purpose of getting to know your team, understanding who they are, and developing a space of trust. The true secret of the team retreat is that they are for the team and not for the business owner. At the beginning of team retreats, I’ve always told my team it’s not MY business, it’s OUR business. While decisions may not always be unanimous, the goal of the business owner should always be that the direction the business is headed should be unanimous with everyone on the team. Business owners don’t always have all the answers; the team also has answers that are just as important.  

Bring all the Voices into the Conversation

Setting up a team retreat with all the necessary pieces gives your team a safe place to voice their thoughts and concerns and to set personal and professional goals for themselves and the business. By giving your team a safe space to speak their minds, you build trust and build relationships. Take them seriously and give them the power to make decisions and suggest changes. Teach them how to and allow them to think like a business owner. Instead of restricting an employee to feel limited by the sandbox of ‘that’s not my job’, you get people thinking like an owner and making choices for the good of the business and everyone on the team. This results in creating a team that goes above and beyond. 

By giving everyone a chance to speak and come to a decision together, you achieve total team buy-in in a way you could have never achieved with a top-down style of decision making. Even people who didn’t initially agree on a topic before discussing it, come to accept the decision because it’s the whole team weighing in on it. All options are discussed as a team and everyone can see the progress of the idea as it evolves, creating tremendous buy-in. If you have the right people ‘on the bus’, there’s little risk of inability to compromise or work things out.  

The End Goal

If your end goal is to create a business that is wildly successful, you need happy people that feel safe and as though they’re part of something bigger than themselves. You can take the first step in creating happy people by empowering them and including them in the planning process. Follow through and not only taking your team seriously but also implementing those ideas are what empowers people to want to be part of the team. Failure to follow through causes your team to lose momentum and want to stop contributing. Team retreats are the platform that can build relationships, establish trust, and create a successful business full of happy people.  

So, again I ask you, is a Team Retreat worth it? 

I invite you to check out my video on Team Retreats on YouTube. If you need assistance in facilitating your next team retreat, let me know.