When was the last time you took time out with your team to celebrate and learn from what you’ve achieved? Or really connected with what you want to achieve in the future? and what you want to achieve? The most successful SMEs do just this. They are thinking, adapting and getting the best out of the brainpower and energy of their people. Here’s a formula you can use to run a terrific team workshop with your people.
What will we talk about?
Perhaps this is an opportunity to reconnect with what your business is really there for – why did it get set up in the beginning, why is the higher purpose it serves now? It could be a chance to think through the way in which you want the team to behave – focusing on customer service, on working well together, on being ambitious for the future, for example. You may have finished a major piece of work and want to explore what went well and what could have gone better – to learn and to celebrate. Or you may be planning for a major piece of work or the next quarter’s worth of activity and you want to get everyone energised and clear on what they need to do.
What approach can we take?
If you want an inclusive workshop where people get involved and feel safe about contributing, then the first thing for us to do is make sure that the group does 80% of the talking. Ration the passion for PowerPoint slides and long speeches, keep any introductions punchy and to the point and get them talking within the first 15 minutes.
Set the scene up front that you want everyone to have a say, and those who tend to speak more need to make space for those who want more time to consider before jumping in. Then make sure that you have heard from everyone and that no one voice dominates. If you want to be part of the discussion, consider getting someone else to facilitate the session, that way you are not torn between leading and being one of the group.
What will the flow of activities be?
I recommend an introduction that covers the purpose of the session and what you hope they will get out of it. Then get them to focus in on the higher purpose, such as the strategy, the behaviours, the vision for the major piece of work. One idea is to ask them to provide examples of when those things have worked really well in the past.
Next get them sharing ideas on the actions that can be taken to move things forward to achieve the higher purpose you have outlined. You might get them to prioritise the ideas once they are out there.
Finally, the key thing to do is to get them to sign up for action. Ask “What is the one thing you will do as a result of this session today?” Get them to write it down, put it on a wall maybe. Make sure you keep these commitments for review at some time in the future so they’re not forgotten.
Terrific Team Workshops
Stepping out of the day to day to spend some quality time with your team will pay huge dividends. If you use these tips to focus in on purpose, make sure its inclusive and get plans for action at the end you’ll get the team on board and ready for anything. Good luck!