Design & Facilitate a Staff Offsite Retreat

An office wants to reconnect and chart next steps after major changes

CONTEXT

An office of technical experts and operational support staff wanted to hold their annual offsite retreat.

Multiple organizational changes and increased delivery pressure compounded work style and communication differences among staff.

There was both a need to create a roadmap for pressing organizational issues – as well as a need to support trust and collaborative practices among staff.

APPROACH

Qualitative and quantitative needs assessments informed the development of a customized retreat program for a two-day offsite. The program was designed to both identify improvements in getting work done as well as in deepening relationships.

Key insights from the needs assessment were shared with leadership prior to the offsite in a separate meeting to align leaders’ sense of urgency about which changes are required – and to establish commitment across the leadership team.

Assessment findings were presented to staff and an honest discussion between leadership and staff was facilitated – helping to bring energy back to topics that were stuck. Behaviors, skills, and attitudes that support collaboration were discussed and practiced in interactive small group work.

RESULTS

The retreat increased openness between leadership team and office staff.

Break-out sessions led to a shared understanding of action priorities along with defined owners and key activities

Staff reported a refreshed sense of purpose in the office and an improved spirit and confidence in the office’s ability to shape and master ongoing changes

The group deepened their understanding of each others’ work style preferences and stress patterns – and compiled a list of mutually expected collaborative behaviors.