Team away days and residential retreats

Away days and Events

Team away days are a popular and powerful means of addressing current issues, developing strategy and improving the performance of individuals and teams. A different environment; no interruptions; a skilled facilitator.

Whether your objective is to get to know each other better, team building to work together better, to be more innovative, or to get down to work on a budget or business plan, you will achieve much, much more if you get away for a day or more, change the environment and allow time for the process.

If you have the opportunity, an overnight residential element greatly increases the benefit.

Whatever your purpose, a properly planned and facilitated away day will pay dividends. The best investment for any team.

Away days need outcomes

Although first thoughts about an away day might focus on a bonding experience to improve relationships, awaydays can achieve a great deal more if specific outcomes are agreed beforehand – as well as improving relationships and team cohesion.

Here are some outcomes that you might consider: -

  • Learn to work together toward a common goal
  • Understand each other and your strengths
  • Improve your communication
  • Understand the dynamics of the team
  • Address sensitive issues
  • Prepare for a new project
  • Prepare a vision, mission, values statement
  • Prepare a budget or business/marketing plan

Using a professional facilitator

The presence of an independent facilitator, briefed by the team leader, ensures that time is well spent and all individuals are able to participate fully. Brefi Group has international experience of designing and facilitating awaydays, as well as corporate retreats. Each away day is individually designed in conjunction with the client and is flexible enough to respond to issues as they arise. We produce lots of flip charts and the whole team is involved.

Examples of typical programmes

Communication and effectiveness away day

  • Introduction to programme
    Set out personal aspirations for the day
  • Communication exercise. Introducing a strategy for getting to know people quickly. Learn to listen
  • Introduction to time management – ways of improving personal effectiveness
  • Coffee and questionnaire (personal communication styles)
  • Feedback and further learning about how people communicate
  • Setting well formed outcomes – an excellent strategy that can be used for clarifying what is wanted, for delegation and for meetings management
  • Retire to the bar and lunch
  • Management game – negotiation and communication – Spaceship Shortlist
  • Perceptual positions – some active exercises to appreciate how other people experience your behaviour
  • Build a model of your team – a practical introduction to the Dilts Logical Levels Model
  • Tea, review and close
  • Leave

Vision, mission values away day

  • Introduction to programme
    Set out personal aspirations for the day
  • Communication exercise. Introducing a strategy for getting to know people quickly. Learn to listen
  • Introduction to the Dilts Neurological Levels model – exercise: who am I, and who are you?
  • Coffee
  • Introduction to perceptual positions – how others see us
    Alternative – Disney approach to a service statement
  • Setting well formed outcomes – an excellent strategy that can be used for clarifying what is wanted, for delegation and for meetings management
  • Retire to the bar and lunch
  • Spaceship Shortlist – negotiation, communication and values game
  • Build a model of your team using the Dilts Logical Levels Model
  • Tea
  • Balanced scorecard and action plan
  • Leave

In addition to the workshop activities, meals together and a complete break, and maybe some outdoor activity, are excellent bonuses that allow the mind to consolidate the learning and be more creative, and board members to relax together.

We can find you the ideal away day retreat venue – quiet, remote, or luxurious. UK, Europe or overseas. We have facilitated in city hotels, country house hotels, on boats, Texas ranches, mountain lodges – and included activities such as walking in the countryside, mountain biking, horseback riding and white water rafting. And lots of thought provoking indoor activities too.

Here is a testimonial from a two day retreat

"Thanks for a stimulating two days, which has resulted in my senior management team reviewing the way they work, plan and implement. The biggest change has been in how they work together as a team! We are very pleased that a number of important business issues have been identified and already worked upon with the next steps clearly identified. In summary excellent."
Roger Randall, Managing director, Biomet UK.

Why are away days so powerful?

Day to day you work under pressure, little chance to spend quality time with your colleagues. Whether your objective is to get to know each other better, to build a team to work together better, to be more innovative, or to get down to work on your strategy, you will achieve much, much more if you get away, change the environment and allow time for the process.

For some projects, business planning, strategy planning and budgeting, scenario planning, uninterrupted time is essential. For some, confidentiality is also needed. For some, just a change of environment is enough to make a difference.

What do you get?

Brefi Group organises and facilitates group meetings, away days, workshops and conferences internationally. We have worked in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, often in exciting locations.

Our customer-designed packages include: -

  • Venue search, negotiation and booking
  • Pre-briefing and agreement of outcomes
  • Design and approval of the programme
  • Organisation and administration
  • Preparation of materials
  • Management and facilitation of main event
  • Provision of keynote speakers, where required
  • Workshops and breakout sessions
  • Review, action planning and follow-up commitments
  • Photographs and visual record
  • Meeting report

We ensure that each event is structured to achieve a previously agreed outcome, but is flexible and responsive enough to deal with whatever arises, whether it be a business issue or inter-personal. We produce lots of flip chart sheets!

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