Businesses do not become successful, and remain successful, simply through good luck and happy accident. Building and motivating a successful business team takes time and hard work, and one of the best methods for increasing a team’s productivity is through a business team workshop. Team workshops allow management and employees to address the growing needs of a business, and to brainstorm new ideas, streamline existing practices, and develop the fresh innovations that will propel the company into greater success. But to be truly successful, team workshops require a good deal of planning to make them productive. Done right, a team workshop can be a valuable experience for both management and employees, and can lead to greater creativity, increased productivity, and an overall improvement of workplace relationships.
Defining Your Workshop’s Goals
The first step in planning a successful team workshop, is to clearly define the event’s focus and ultimate goal. Whether it’s brainstorming new product ideas, discussing new marketing techniques, teaching division managers better organization skills, or laying down new hiring protocols, the overall focus of your workshop is the first important decision you will make. Many team workshops suffer because they lack a clear and definite goal. It is important to know from the outset exactly what you want your event to accomplish. The focus of the workshop will also dictate the number of attendees, and the location of the event.
Who Will Be Attending Your Workshop?
Once you have clearly defined the focus of your team workshop, you will be better equipped to decide who will be attending the event. If the workshop has a very narrow focus, such as improving the company’s hiring practices, you will likely only want a small number of management personnel to attend. If the workshop has a broader goal, such as developing new advertising programs or teaching new sales techniques, you will be more likely to involve a larger portion of your business’ active staff, including both management and general employees. Once you have decided on the goal of your workshop, and know what staff members will be attending, you will be better able to decide where to hold your event.
Choosing a Venue for Your Team Workshop
For smaller workshops, with fewer than a dozen attendees, the choice of location is relativity simple. These types of meeting can be held on-site in an office or conference room. Larger workshops, with 40 or 50 people attending, will require larger facilities, and should be held off-site at a professional event space. By moving your larger team workshops to a hired venue, you are better able to focus the attendees attention on the matters at hand, and can limit the possibility of any unwanted distractions. Professional venues also offer more space than the typical business office can provide, which allows large groups to break into smaller teams for brainstorming sessions and specific field training exercises.
When choosing a hired venue for your workshop, consider what you will need to make your event a success. Make sure the venue you choose can provide the audio/visual equipment you will need for presentations, as well as active internet and teleconferencing capabilities. It is also important to make sure the venue you hire is conveniently located, and can provide ample parking.
Scheduling the Days Activities
Once you have settled on a venue, and have decided who will be attending your workshop, all that’s left is to create a schedule of events for the day. Team workshops are most productive in the morning, when your staff is fresh and ready to tackle any new projects. Whenever possible, avoid scheduling your workshop in the afternoon, when employees are likely to winding down from a hectic morning. As for the day’s activities, plan a detailed agenda specifying times for presentations, demonstrations and group discussions. Create group exercises to get all of the attendees involved, and to draw out those employees who may feel uncomfortable speaking in a public setting.
To avoid breaking the momentum of the day, consider hiring a caterer to provide a light lunch or buffet that will keep everyone focused and fueled throughout the event. In many instances, the venue you hire will be able to provide their own in house catering staff to provide a light menu for your event. By providing refreshments, you can keep everyone on-site throughout the day.
A team workshop can be a powerful tool in any business’ quest for success. When handled correctly, and planned for accordingly, the team workshop can produce the results you need to keep your business productive and on the cutting edge.