How To Host A Successful Team Retreat

Would you believe that it took two and a half years before I met my VA in person?!

Though we had worked together through multiple projects, countless launches and the ebb and flow of growing a business since March of 2013, the 800 miles of separation didn’t allow for weekly in person meetings over coffee.

I remember sitting in the hotel bar the evening we met (after making ridiculous fools of ourselves in the hotel lobby!!!), chatting about this crazy business of mine and brainstorming brilliant ideas late into the night. While I love working virtually, there is just something about meeting in person.

When I have the opportunity to meet with my team in person, I’m quick to remind myself that at that very moment, I have the best of both worlds.

  1. I have the privilege to work virtually
  2. My team supports me whether it’s across the table to a few states over

I decided this fall that I wanted to begin hosting quarterly team retreats. A few times a year we will come together and brainstorm and plan out my 90 Day Year. In my business, we follow Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year, so it’s important that I cast clear, consistent vision to my team on our goals. Hosting a Team Retreat puts on the right path to achieve our 90 Day Year goals.

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If you would like to host a team retreat, allow me to offer a few suggestions.

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Prepare

No one likes to attend a meeting that is thrown together. The purpose of this meeting is to plan your next 90 Days, not “hope to get something accomplished” or hang out and brush each other’s hair. You’re there to make a plan for your business. Be strategic with your plans. Your time together is sacred, so make it count.

I went as far as to pre-order giant post-its, permanent markers and a detailed agenda for our two days together. It’s important to know which topics you’d like to cover while you’re together and where you want your business to go in the next quarter.

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Plan

The purpose of your retreat is to make clear plans. Begin by casting your vision.

While it may seem redundant to share your vision at each retreat, I believe it’s important to start your retreat with everyone on the same page. Reviewing your vision statement will set the tone for your day and plans to come.

Once you are all on the same brainwave, begin to work through your prepared agenda. Empower your team to share their ideas. Remember, there are no bad ideas! Unless someone suggests making a squirrel your new mascot. That’s a bad idea!
At the end of your retreat, you should know exactly what you want to accomplish and who is responsible for making it happen.
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Play

The team that plays together, stays together! It’s important to take time away from your planning to do a little team building. For my team, this does not include trust falls or anything crazy! I trust that my team “has my back”, but when it’s my literal back coming parallel with the ground, I prefer to stay standing, thank you very much!

We were fortunate enough to stay at my family’s new beach house in North Carolina. With a quick 2 minute walk to the beach, we were able to take a few brain breaks throughout the day to get some fresh air and clear our minds. Taking that 15 minute break was what we needed to chat about our personal lives and get to know each other a little better.

Execute

Once you’ve headed back to your respective states, it’s time to get to work. For my team, we have a weekly call and constantly reference the minutes from our time together. What a waste it would be if we spent 2 days together only to walk away with a few good memories and not one actionable steps to grow our business.

If you want to see success in your business and growth in your team, give each team member actionable steps for them to take. Giving each team member ownership in their role will give them a sense of purpose.

Regardless of the location and how often, connecting with your team is crucial to your business.

If you could plan a team retreat anywhere in the world, where would it be?