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How to Deliver Company Offsite Meetings that Work

As its name suggests, offsite meetings are aimed at bringing employees together “out of home” and talking about the company’s strategy, goals, and tactics.

Many facilitators think that in order to deliver company meetings that work it is important to craft a detailed agenda and rent a killer venue.

For sure, these two factors are very important for effective offsite meeting, however, the center of any successful company meeting is the human factor: you should concentrate on how to deal with human dynamics during a team or company meeting.
Offsite team meeting at a coffeeshop
Now let’s see how to deliver company offsite meetings that work.
 

1. Craft offsite meetings’ agenda with team using a live polling app

To have offsite meetings that work it is very important to let attendees have their input in the meeting agenda. It will help to avoid making company meetings a waste of time and will prevent employees getting bored and start to yawn during the speeches.

You need to use an appropriate platform to let employees have their input in an agenda.

One such platform is Swift Polling which is a live polling app. Create an open-ended question or a multiple-choice poll asking your employees to throw in their suggestions. They can send their responses either via SMS (internet connection not needed) or via web (internet access is required) or both.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Create a multiple choice poll: Separate some important topics and ask your employees to vote for the one they would like to hear about; or
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  • Or create an open-ended question, such as “What topics would you like to discuss during the meeting?”
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  • Alternatively, you can create word clouds for a better visual appeal. Word clouds show the repetitive responses with larger letters and in a different color, so it will be obvious which topics should be addressed first.
  • word cloud about meeting agenda made with a live polling app

    Learn how to create word cloud with live polling app.

    2. Choose “Heroes” together

    People are definitely the company’s greatest asset. Offsite meetings are the very time to highlight this once again by putting the company’s best performers in a spotlight.

    To deliver company meetings that works it is important to give voice to the entire team. Ask them to nominate and anonymously choose the best performers or give them a list to pick from. It will boost overall team spirit and will create a sense of unity.

    It will also be amazing to enable staff to submit the achievements that they think were the most important for the company.

    To organize and hold the process smoothly you should use innovative technologies and appropriate platforms. In this article you will read a lot about all-inclusive Swift Polling because it has so many helpful functionalities. In this specific case, the live polling app will help you organize the process anonymously, fast, and easy.

    At the end of the process you can prepare some gifts for company “heroes” to encourage honest peer review and to increase team motivation.
     

    3. Gather feedback on strategy and goals

    Offsite meetings are amazing events to bring all the staff together and identify their opinion on the overall company strategy and goals. It creates a sense of engagement and helps to show employees that their voice matters.

    Most of the times the upper management sets goals which are achievable by the team or which are irrelevant (yes, this can happen).The thing is that the team executes the action-plan and they have a better understanding of realistic deadlines and skill capacity.

    For this reason, it’s crucial to follow the goal-setting management principle and bring in the executing team to the strategy formulation and goal setting. Moreover, this increases the team’s responsibility and motivation to perform better, since they were part of the planning process as valued employees.

    Strategy evaluation and goal setting can be easily implemented using the live polling app.

    With the old and gold friend, Swift Polling, you can include polls in your presentation and ask your employees to throw in their opinion. Since the participation can be anonymous, this will make a more transparent and open environment for an effective discussion.

    An example of such polls can be the following: “How confident are you with the numbers/deadlines presented?”

    After this discussion, adjust the strategy and goals accordingly for the better results when evaluation comes.
     

    4. Allocate enough time for Q&A

    To organize company meetings that work you should not only pay attention to the content that is going to be delivered but also the questions and concerns regarding your points brought up.

    Q&A sessions are an inseparable part of every meeting. However, facilitators always leave very little time to answer attendees’ questions. Moreover, classical Q&A approach doesn’t allow for everyone to raise their points. Because of little apportioned time, most important questions remain unattended most of the times.

    What I suggest is to not only allocate enough time to Q&A sessions, but also hold them periodically throughout the session, let’s say after each major point presented.

    Moreover, to make them more transparent, you can ask your employees to submit their questions via web which will make their feedback anonymous. Still remember that we’re talking about Swift Polling? Thanks, I was about to worry.

    It is really an amazing method of conducting Q&A, because:

  • People can send their questions once those arise, instead of waiting till you finish your presentation.
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  • Even shy and introverted people will participate, as the whole process is without extra talking.
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  • Very subtle or “hard-to-ask” questions can be asked since the software provides anonymity.
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  • The speaker can filter the questions he/she considers more crucial.
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    Set up your Q&A page

     

    5. Empower employees to sum up the meeting

    To deliver offsite meetings that work you should always review the past meetings and make improvements based on those.

    The best way to identify any gaps during your meetings is to run a quick session evaluation by the end of it. You may go either with premade short survey or an open-ended format question asking “What did not work during this session?”. Alternatively, you can asl “What worked well in this session?”. Additionally, this will be one more step to keep the pace of active engagement that you have set from the start of the meeting.

    This can also be easily implemented with the Swift Polling productivity tools.

    As you have seen, there are two main factors that work well for any offsite meeting – be people-centric and use interactivity tools for better engagement.



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