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ISAE Blog

10 Ideas for Your Next Staff Retreat

Posted by Rachel Daeger, CAE on Oct 21, 2015 12:00:00 PM

retreat_ideasRaybourn Group International (RGI) hosts a staff retreat each year. Our staff looks forward to the day-long event especially since a quarter of the staff works remotely. Writing as a participant, not the planner, I wanted to share 10 activities from past RGI retreats that I have enjoyed.

  1. Create a staff retreat music playlist by asking everyone to list their favorite song. This can be your background music for breaks. You might be surprised at the music preferences of your co-workers.
  2. Create a staff retreat photo album with work and personal photos. The slideshow can run during breaks.
  3. Establish a retreat hashtag so staff can share images and insights on social media.
  4. Find out what you really know about each other.
  5. Have the entire staff read the same book and discuss the book during the retreat. For example, we read and discussed “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life.”
  6. Plan a community service project. We have partnered with School on Wheels, a nonprofit that provides educational material to homeless students. Our tasks include cutting pages of alphabet tiles and assembling game kits with dice, pencils, instructions, etc.
  7. Celebrate the year’s successes by asking each person for a greatest success, a surprise success and to summarize the year as a candy. Be ready for some unexpected and entertaining answers.
  8. Learn more about each other by finding the experts in your midst. Do a quick survey prior to the retreat to learn who has what skills, whether they are work-related or a talent such as painting or car repair.
  9. Look at a situation from different points of view by assembling a cross-functional panel. The panel could include someone newly hired, a remote employee and a seasoned professional.
  10. Set up an “ask me anything” session where the company president or leadership fields questions from staff.

Enjoy your next staff retreat and the time to gather as a staff. As philosopher Albert Camus said, “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion."

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