On Monday, September 12th, the Thread team will brave the current dysfunctional state of airline travel, take to the skies, and gather in Tampa, Florida for our first in-person staff retreat since October 2019.
We’re grateful for this opportunity to come together as a team. This is a busy time of year for partners and fundraising in general (to boldly understate it!), but taking time out from the whirlwind of day-to-day work to ensure our services and work wholly reflect our values is worthwhile and essential. We look forward to coming back to you with sharpened processes, renewed vigor, and a fresh readiness to Do the Work.
If you haven’t recently, we hope your team can find time to connect during a retreat in the near future. No doubt, though, planning a retreat can be a big undertaking. Here we offer some of the key questions to help guide your thinking about putting together a meaningful team experience.
How much time should be dedicated to a retreat?
The amount of time you schedule should depend on the number of topics you need to address. It can be as short as a half-day or as long as a few days. We also recommend having the retreat in-person, but off-site. The pandemic has obviously restricted colleagues’ opportunity to interact in-person, but there remains enormous value in connecting with your colleagues face-to-face. However long your retreat is, make sure it has time enough for business talk and play.
How do we identify retreat topics?
Survey your staff for their input and then schedule a 30-minute to an hour-long meeting with your leadership/retreat coordinating team to map out your nonprofit’s most important areas of discussion. Be sure to include training/workshops into the retreat to ensure that your staff are active participants throughout your time together.
How do we measure retreat effectiveness?
Survey all staff participants as soon as the retreat concludes. Perhaps you can incorporate it into the very end of the retreat or send out an anonymous survey the next day. It’s important to capture their responses as soon as possible to gather the most meaningful feedback. If you really want to earn a gold star, meet with the retreat coordinating team again and/or survey the staff again in three months to assess how well new tactics have been implemented.
Interested in more insights into retreat planning? Let us know! Drop us a line at [email protected] to talk more.