Tips On How To Make Your Firm’s Away Day Hugely Successful
1. Set a Clear Goal/Purpose
Whether you are taking an away day individually or as a team, ensure that you have a clear purpose on what you are supposed to achieve at the end of the day. Whether you have one or several goals that you hope to achieve, ensure that the entire team understands the purpose of the ideally. Ideally, the purpose of the away day should be actionable so that all team members can understand why they are going to undertake the activities you list on the itinerary as well as how these activities will help in the achievement of the wider goal.
The away day that we recently took focused on uniting the entire team around the growth strategy we hope to employ in the next phase of the company’s growth. This purpose helped us set a comprehensive itinerary and agenda – from workout exercises and team building activities in the scenic area of Chamonix.
2. Ensure That the Planned Activities That Are Inclusive
It is imperative that you include inclusive activities that can be undertaken by all team members. If your itinerary involves activities that some team members cannot do or are afraid of doing, you run the risk of dividing your team. Night golf is a fantastic way to bring people together, a fun activity for everyone to play. Make sure you have plenty of LED golfballs that you can see at night. If the away trip will take a few days, consider setting aside some free time which team members can use do whatever they wish. The secret is ensuring that you are attentive to the needs of all team members even during their free periods.
As a company, we may have failed in this aspect in the past. However, during this trip, we did our best to rectify this issue. During our most recent trip, we offered our team members the option of taking part in other activities during their free periods such as going for a spa, snowboarding, skiing and husky sledding. Each team member was free to choose the type of activity that suits them best.
Even with free periods, there should be some team building activities that should be mandatory. To make every member of your team feel included, ensure that you understand the needs/expectations of each team member and do your best to accommodate them.
3. Ensure The Attendance of Every Team Member
An away day usually offers a chance for your team to bond and share experiences. Try and ensure that every member of your team is in attendance. After all, you cannot call it a team building exercise if the whole team is not present.
At Manifesto, our operations span across two continents. This means that away days are usually the only chance for all our team members to come together. This time, we mainly chose to hold our away day at Chamonix so that all team members (even those in overseas locations) could be in attendance.
4. Make Thorough Plans
For your away day to be successful, ensure that you set a detailed and thorough itinerary. This itinerary/agenda should be communicated to all team members. Remember that the opportunity to gather all team members in one place will not always present itself. An away day where all team members are in attendance can be hugely inspiring and motivating experience. As such when the opportunity presents itself, make sure that you make concrete plans on how the entire trip should play out. Simply put, be like a scout – always prepared.
5. Take Lots of Photos During the Trip
A picture is often worth a thousand words (which is the reason why I put this point last so that you would not just browse through the pictures instead of actually reading the post). The pictures that you take on your trip (of all moments – both good and bad) can be great conversation starters and meme generators for years to come. Photos can bring the entire team in ways that things such as spreadsheets and slide decks cannot. Remember that the photos you take – especially those of great moments when your team is bonding can be a great marketing tool for your company one day. Though team members will take their own photos, consider hiring a professional photographer for the duration of the trip.