Staff Retreats: What to Cover

Initial Retreats

Focus on the following:

  • fun
  • celebration of successes
  • social cohesion
  • stage setters: trust and disclosure
  • corporate culture
  • company vision
  • core values
  • team objectives
  • mission statement
  • goal setting
  • business plans
  • leadership training
  • customer service training


Ongoing Retreats

Include these steps:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate successes.
  • Integrate new staff with veterans.
  • Identify challenges.
  • Close gaps between people, processes and vision.
  • Connect daily roles to vision.
  • Address maturing systems, processes and people.
  • Provide clarity on new offerings, new partnership deliverables, etc.
  • Give divisional reports and key performance indicators.
  • Reach clarity on the way forward.


Example of a Personal-Sharing Activity

Setting the stage for open, trusting, creative interaction among participants is crucial to the success of your retreat. Disclosure exercises, personal sharing and team challenges can help to establish the supportive, cooperative environment that you seek. Here is one example of a personal-sharing activity:

Preparation. Each participant brings to the retreat three items that represent something of profound importance in his or her life, past or current.

Process. Each person in turn stands in front of the group and shows one item at a time, expressing why this is fundamental to who they are. The item should be carefully passed through the group as the owner talks about its relevance.

Outcome. With these disclosures, people come to know each other better. The sharing activity personalizes each role on the team, and trust increases.

Key to Success. Defining a specific duration for this activity is important. You can be hard-hitting at 1 minute per item or allow a total of 10 minutes per person, which gives people time to share more significant information if they are so inclined. If you choose the longer format, you would let about three people speak during any one session and then repeat the process throughout the retreat until everyone has had time to share.

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