Team Away Days or Strategy days are often held to discuss a plan and decide (or be told) the targets for the forthcoming year. It has been a trend to hold them offsite to break the monotony of the office environment which sometimes descends more into team activities and team bonding (a.k.a drinks at the pub).
The point is, the typical annual Team Day can take many forms and seldom achieve what they’re set-up to achieve. Actions are promised, enthusiasm is shared but a month down the line people only remember the huge target their manager has set them and the delicious lunch. Nothing has fundamentally changed that prepares the team to become high performing and reach their ultimate goals.
We believe we have found the perfect formula for Team Days.
At IW we have had an influx of enquiries about running Team Days, especially as we start a new year. In the last two months, we have run multiple Team Days for clients in all sectors assisting their teams commercially, structurally and boosting team morale.
People forget that the opportunity to bond as a team is crucial to the long-term success of a group. Due to the nature of the job and commitments at home, it may be the only time of the year that every member of the team is in the same room. Getting to know each other personally, not just professionally, is the foundation of any high performing team.
Team days should also be a time to celebrate. Celebrating the successes and acknowledging the failures of the previous year seems an obvious approach but is often ignored. In the fast-paced world we all live in, it’s a good idea to stop and really appreciate your team and their achievements. This can be hugely impactful on team members; specialist in behavioural science, Dr Ashley Whillans from the Harvard Business School agrees and summarised this issue concisely in a 2019 article: “What really matters in the workplace is helping employees feel appreciated”.
To be an effective Team Day it is appropriate to look to the future. It is important to set the message/goals/targets for the upcoming year; however, we suggest this doesn’t dominate the agenda. Too often these days are organised with the sole objective of communicating the targets to the team as quickly as possible and then jetting to the activity. Relax. Take some time to assess performance, involve the team, lead honest discussion. This approach drives engagement; the goal becomes the team’s goal, not just yours.
Your team day should be set up to achieve maximum engagement, you are asking “Who’s on board?”. Use this time to involve the team, share responsibility, set up processes for accountability and strengthen relationships. We all know the most important work comes afterwards, challenge the team to practice the high performing qualities. This method of Team Days ensures you’re are launching your team in the right direction for 2020. So, are you on board?