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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


In today’s hectic business environment, managers and employees can lose focus on strategy and long-term goals while fighting daily fires. It doesn’t matter if your business has five employees or 50, a retreat or annual meeting can be a positive, team building experience that can refresh attitudes and renew a common sense of purpose.

Your retreat should always take place away from the office and technology. Depending on the type of retreat you choose and your budget, this can range from meeting in the backyard of a senior manager who lives on the lake to renting space at a local hotel to a full-service weekend “adventure” retreat that includes outdoor team building exercises. The point is that you are away from distractions. Have everyone dress comfortably and intersperse some physical activity with your sit-down sessions to keep people from tuning out. Add a creative session or two to get the juices flowing; this doesn’t have to be anything fancy—you can use something as simple as an opposites word game or simple drawing exercise. And don’t forget healthy, nutritious food to keep everyone alert (okay, and some chocolate for good measure).

There are several types of sessions that may be of value during a retreat:
Social Presence: Get input from your staff on your social media presence and policies, and get them involved in representing the company. In the “Facebook world,” all employees can and should help by watching for comments about the company and sharing the good things you do.
Branding: Do your employees understand the company brand? Engage them on ways to ensure brand consistency and ask them for new ideas that will promote the brand.
Strategic Planning: What is the firm’s strategy? Its goals? Are employees aware of the goals? If the strategy and goals have been defined, involve employees so they understand and can help focus on meeting these goals. If the goals haven’t been set yet, get employee input. Many times people at lower levels have insight into the customers and market that senior managers lack.
Team Building/Motivation: Wrapping up your day with a motivational session sends everyone away energized and ready to tackle the world when they return to work!
Tell clients that the office will be closed that day and provide an emergency-only number for them to call if necessary. The goal is to get your team back on track and focused on the long-term health of the business. Need more information about sessions for your retreat? Give us a call at (919) 850-0605 or e-mail us at


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