Table of Contents

Successful Team Retreats

pandemic game play

Last week our team gathered together for a team retreat. During this retreat, all of us left our families and work priorities to spend a few days together to grow as a team, work on Soapbox, and be intentional about the culture we are creating at Endurance Learning. We are all sensitive to the sacrifice it takes to attend these retreats and place the utmost priority on making them useful and successful.

A lot goes into making retreats work. Let’s look at a few things our team does on our retreats to ensure success.

A Well-Planned Agenda

Every retreat should have an agenda planned well in advance and shared with the team. This includes logistics, time for business, and time for fun. We will dig into what is on the agenda in a moment. The key is that it is dynamic. Retreats don’t happen that often. When things are derailed, or tangents happen that are necessary, lower priority agenda items may need to move to a later time or off the agenda entirely.

Business and Activities

All retreats have goals, and those goals should strike a balance. I see this as a three-legged stool that balances business, work, and fun. On the business leg, take about one-third of your time for regular updates, state-of-the-company breifings, reflections on successes, and any other business information employees should be privy to.

On the second leg is work, and this can also take about a third of your time, maybe a little more. These are often break-out or group activities where employees have a chance to really dig into something they wouldn’t otherwise do. This may be a major planning session, an opportunity to work through a new product or feature, or a chance to get something done that has been waiting for such an opportunity.

The fun leg of the stool is just as important as the other two legs and your stool will fall without it. Fun activities at retreats build team collaboration and creativity, among other things. Some ideas to build into your agenda include setting up time at a board game cafe, designating teams for a Pecha Kucha night, a sunrise hike, or even just grabbing some ice cream and seeing a free concert in the city of your retreat.

Debrief

Every year one of my colleagues asks me to reflect on my favorite part of the retreat. Every year I stumble to figure it out because so much happens in such a short time. This year was a little easier as we are so very close to releasing a full version of Soapbox, and it is easier to see how far we have come. I still appreciate this question and hope he never stops asking me, because it always changes.  Debriefing helps demonstrate the value of these retreats and reflects on what we have done better from years past.

Team retreats are a lot like training. With facilitators, activities, and a similar structure. What do you see that goes right, and what can be improved at these events? Let’s talk about this and anything else on your mind in the comments below.

Instructor-Led Training Resources

These are some of our favorite resources to support everyone involved with instructor-led training.

Training Delivery and Facilitation Competency Rubric

A rubric is a way to assess performance with a standard set of evaluation criteria. The next time you need to assess the performance of someone delivering training (even if that someone is you), you may find this rubric helpful.

The Role of Co-facilitators

Co-facilitators play an important role in a training workshop. The most obvious benefit is that when you co-facilitate, you get a break from leading the

18 Instructor-led Training Activities

Engaging, intentional, face-to-face and virtual instructor-led training activities can make the difference between a session that helps learners to apply new skills or knowledge and one that falls flat.

Articles Similar to Successful Team Retreats

facilitator competency rubric
ILT & VILT
Brian Washburn

Training Delivery and Facilitation Competency Rubric

A rubric is a way to assess performance with a standard set of evaluation criteria. The next time you need to assess the performance of someone delivering training (even if that someone is you), you may find this rubric helpful.

instructor becomes the pupil with kassy laborie and zovig garboushian
ILT & VILT
Brian Washburn

Turning the Tables: From Trainer to Student

As people who have designed and delivered effective training, Kassy Laborie and Zovig Garboushian know a thing or two about good learning experiences. So what nuggets have they gleaned from a 9-month course that they’re both attending, and that all of us should consider when designing our own programs? Today’s podcast answers that question.

John Crook on role play
ILT & VILT
Brian Washburn

Is this the world’s most effective role play?

When it comes to your training participants, two of the dirtiest, or perhaps scariest, words you can say during a session may be: role play. In today’s podcast, John Crook, Head of Learning at Intersol Global, offers some thoughts on how to make role plays more authentic and robust.

Subscribe to Get Updates from Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn, Author

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll send you the latest updates from our blog. Thanks for following!

Grow your L&D Career Today!

The Foundations of L&D course through the L&D Pro Academy provides the concepts and practical experience you need to grow your confidence and abilities as a well-rounded L&D professional.

Enter your email below and we’ll be in touch with an info sheet!

L&D Pro Academy

Find Your L&D Career Path

Explore the range of careers to understand what role might be a good fit for your L&D career.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the What’s Possible in L&D Worksheet.

What's possible in L&D

Let's Talk Training!

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll get back to you soon.

Download the Feedback Lesson Plan

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the lesson plan as a PDF.

feedback lesson plan
MS Word Job Aid Template

Download the Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the Word version of this template.

Download the Free Lesson Plan Template!

Enter your email below and we’ll send you a Word document that you can start using today!

free lesson plan template
training materials checklist

Download the Training Materials Checklist

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the Training Materials Checklist.

Subscribe to Endurance Learning for updates

Get regular updates from the Endurance Learning team.