A team away day can be one of the most motivating days for your team, but only if it is planned and carried out in the right way. They are becoming increasingly popular within business teams, so what is the best way to carry this out?
What is a team away day?
Firstly you need to understand that a team away day is more than team-building! Although you’ll typically do a team-building activity, away days also include a meeting or AGM, often formatted as business first then fun. It is a great way to get across the upcoming business ideas you have, find out the team’s opinion or ideas for the future so you all come up with a clear plan of action and then follow it up with a day of activities altogether.
What makes a good team away day?
Before jumping into planning your team away day you need to consider what will make a good team away day. The thing is this depends on your team dynamic, the individuals in your team and your business. If you want to ensure you get this right, having a suggestion box where employees can contribute team building exercises will allow you to find a happy medium that suits everybody attending.
If your team isn’t made up of thrill seeker individuals then an outdoor team-building activity like a zip wire across a lake probably isn’t going to get your team excited! So make sure you plan appropriately so that everybody enjoys the day. If you are struggling to think of team-building activities, we have collated a list of some of the best ideas.
How often and where should you hold a company away day?
Technically, this isn’t a measurable answer as it is completely down to you and how often you feel your business needs it! We recommend holding at least 4 a year – one for each quarter. This allows you to still keep the event relevant to your work and be able to get new ideas on board, without feeling like you are constantly repeating yourself.
Location again is variable to your company but we recommend having your meeting and team building off-site as this will make it more engaging for your employees. You also need to consider if the venue you choose caters to your plans and goals, for example if you plan for smaller team meetings to take place as part of the day before returning to a large group, you need to ensure that your chosen venue can provide multiple rooms.
Accessibility is key, especially if you have multiple offices or international offices. Milton Keynes is an example of an excellent location that is close and easy enough for London-based employees to reach as well as having excellent links to key motorways.
Make sure you pick somewhere appealing to you and your team because an uninspiring location can have the opposite effect to what is intended for the team’s away day.
How to plan a team away day?
Planning the day itself is one of the most difficult parts.
The first thing you should do is decide who will be invited to your team away day, is it the whole company, just leadership or are you running a smaller department away day? This will then help you decide on a location and date as these two things will create a foundation for the rest of your plans.
It is very important that you establish what your goals are for the day early on. This will help to plan the direction of your meeting and an appropriate activity that will help meet your business goals. For example, if one of your quarterly lessons is improved communication and is going to be the main talking point in your meeting then your activity should focus on developing your team’s communication skills. An excellent idea could involve a blindfolded assault course.
When planning your team away day you also need to ensure you stay on topic and that the time spent is productive. There’s nothing worse for team morale than a long and boring meeting that doesn’t achieve anything. This is why it’s imperative to have a goal for the day to keep everyone focused and to offer regular breaks. When choosing your venue, make sure to ask about break-out areas or mid-meeting snacks that will help with this. This means you’ll have a better chance of increasing interaction from your team and make it easier to achieve your goal.
Lastly, spread the news! Make your team aware of this day, it means they can also make note of anything they would like to bring to the day and can ensure they plan for it correctly. As well as this, it is a great conversation topic whilst in work as you lead up to it, meaning the team is already getting involved and bonding with each other.
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