Team Retreats

May 15, 2024

Summer is a good time to think through team development opportunities as a manager.  One way to facilitate team development is through planning a team retreat.  

A team retreat does not have to cost a lot of time or money.  Team retreats could last as long as one workday or as little as an extended team lunch.  Utilizing campus resources can also be an inexpensive way to facilitate time together as a team.  A couple of examples include booking a meeting room in a different building on campus that your team doesn’t normally visit, attend a course through the Learn module in Ignite, inviting a campus partner to speak to your group, or hosting a scavenger hunt on campus.

Some steps to plan a retreat may look like:
  • Create a clear goal and vision for your time together:
    • Is this just a time to connect and for fellowship?
    • Is there a team norm to explore together?
    • Is there a need for training on a specific topic?
  • Determine length of retreat
  • Set a budget
  • Book a location that will comfortably fit your team
  • Create an agenda but leave room for flexibility
  • Fun and food go a long way in engaging groups

If your team is in a hybrid work environment, now more than ever, a team retreat can help create norms that foster connection.  According to a 2022 Gartner Hybrid Collaboration Survey, “periodic in-person meetings and on-site work with managers are moments of connection that research has shown to improve performance, inclusion and engagement in a hybrid model.”  For teams that are fully remote consider adapting some of these ideas to the virtual environment.  Mailing a small “pre-retreat” package to employees with Baylor swag, agenda or snacks can get employees more engaged during the virtual retreat.  This is also important to in person teams as the same survey reports, “teams can use in-person meetings to build relationships with one another, collaborate, collectively brainstorm, discuss potential future strategies for the team, participate in culture-building activities together and more. These meetings don’t necessarily have to take place at an office or worksite location; teams can use conferences or retreats already on the calendar as opportunities to connect in person.” 

If you would like help in exploring what a retreat could look like for your team, reach out to the HR Consultant for your area for more resources.  A list of HR Consultants can be found using this HRC list.