To make an employee love offsite meetings requires careful planning and thoughtful facilitation that emphasizes the human factor.
Out-of-site meetings are aimed to bring employees together “out of home” and talk about the company’s strategy, goals and tactics.
Offsite meetings are really a great opportunity to refresh employees, get their feedback and create team spirit. Meanwhile, showing people their voices matter creates a culture of openness and transparency.
To make your employees love offsite meetings and run those meetings smoothly, here are three useful tips.
Tailor content to employees’ expectations
Start by engaging your employees at the very beginning of the event.
For that, when setting an agenda, leave some room for employees to have their input in it.
For example, you can conduct a live poll to find out what your employees want to get out of the day. You need to use an appropriate platform, such as Swift Polling, to identify the topics your employees would like to learn more about. Employees can send their response by text or online.
You can either:
Swift can also create word clouds with the responses. Word clouds show the repetitive responses larger and in a different color, so it will be obvious which topics should be addressed first.
Brainstorm new ideas and collect feedback
Offsite meetings offer a great opportunity to generate and exchange new ideas and perspectives in real time. These kinds of events encourage a forward-thinking, creative environment without the influence of daily tasks.
Enabling employees to express their opinions is one more way of making employees love offsite meetings.
Swift Polling, again, can be a great tool to save time, avoid a lot of mess and encourage participation of all the employees.
To collect employees’ suggestions and concerns on different issues, the facilitator should just create an open-ended question ask employees to send their ideas.
Otherwise, the facilitator can create a survey with multiple choice questions and ask employees to participate in it, which will show how they are satisfied and confident with the ideas presented during the meeting.
Democratize Q&A session
To love offsite meetings, employees should be confident that they will have an opportunity to deal with any outstanding issues and completely understand the presentations.
However, the traditional method of conducting a Q&A session cannot do this. It has many drawbacks such as the time limit of the session, the low level of participation of employees and more.
To overcome these obstacles and democratize the Q&A, the facilitator should conduct it earlier, after each topic is presented. Employees will be fresh and full of questions.
Second, it’s important to provide anonymity, which in turn will enhance the participation rate and will make employees believe that their voices are heard and concerns are addressed.
Swift Polling helps with all these points. Many people start using it at the beginning of their events. Then, taking short breaks, presenters moderate questions quickly and addresses the most important ones.
This method is a favorite one both for event organizers and attendees.
Try these tips next time to surprise your employees and make them love offsite meetings.