Question: We have a partly remote team. What's a creative way to bring all key leaders together a few times a year that will actually lead to productive conversation/strategizing?
Hold a Quarterly Retreat
"My company, Webfor also has remote team members and we were struggling with this same question last year. We decided to do a quarterly retreat to bring everyone together to strategize and to tackle our three biggest limiting factors. During that meeting we brainstorm and assign responsible parties and deadlines. We always grab some food and end with drinks. It's been both fun and productive."
Rent a Cabin for a Few Days
"We run a remote team of 36. It is imperative to bring a bunch of our people together at least once a year. We will rent a cabin on the ocean or in the mountains and invite people to join us for strategy sessions, vision planning, and learning. These are typically three days events. The immersion is an important part. We cook for each other, clean for each other and share rooms, family style."
Host a Creative Getaway
"With the idea of working remote and distributed growing in popularity, it is important for companies to keep team members engaged and feeling loved. We do so by having events throughout the year, sometimes retreats in areas that are new to the employee. This fosters creativity, growth and a sense of pride within the team."
Keep the Retreat Informal
"The idea of the “company retreat” seems dead nowadays, but there doesn’t have to be anything formal about getting your team together and putting them up in a nice hotel/lodge/vacation home while you meet together. Have a strong agenda if you want to get things done. Having some fun earlier in the day will disarm people and make them more open to sharing."
Hold a Company Summit
"With team members across the country, we hold an annual summit. This event includes lectures and meetings, as well as group meals and entertainment, to bring employees together in both business and social settings. We focus on large-scale ideas in order to maximize the time together. This is a helpful team-building approach whether you hold yours annually or quarterly."
Hold Digital-Free Meetings
"At Nextiva, we have a rapidly growing team of remote channel managers who manage our channel partners. We bring them in at least once a quarter for strategizing sessions. Before their meeting starts we require that each person put their cell phone and computer in another room. We find that this focus helps bring about some of our most innovative ideas."
Meet at Industry Conferences
"We find that setting up meetings around industry conferences is a powerful and creative way to get our team excited and motivated to bring in new ideas. Not only do we all get together, we are also exposed to new ideas, concepts, and can discuss what we're learning and ways of growing the company based on new knowledge. And of course, we schedule time to go out, bond and have fun!"