We do fun staff retreats…

…and we get a lot done at them.

We had a 1 day staff retreat today.  We do 3 of these a year and 1 that is a Sunday through Tuesday.  Today we spent the day at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City.  Seem odd?  To me it was perfect for a few reasons.

1.  Got to get away from the church for these.  ANY place is better than the same room you always meet in.

2.  I love going places where you get to experience the real life of your customers/target audience.  Since we are serious about reaching people who don’t go to church, what better place than a casino?

3.  I’m always looking for something interactive we can do.  (No, we did not hit the slots.)  One of our elders (Gordon Barker) actually is the Senior Project Manager for Walsh Construction as they build a $90 million hotel on the site.  Today, we spent a couple hours between getting an awesome behind the scenes tour of the construction site and some real-life leadership lessons from Gordon’s experience.  He also got  us a free conference room and a big discount on lunch.  Thanks, Gordon!

We’ve been intentionally adding fun and interactive elements to our retreats for almost two years.  We’ve done a tour of Fair Oaks Farm, we’ve done some trap shooting, we eat at great places.  On top of being great team-building experiences, I think there are lessons to learn in almost everything and I think it adds anticipation to our staff.  I usually don’t tell them where we are going and they are constantly trying to get clues from me or my assistant.

One last thing…best lesson I learned in the last 3 years on staff retreats was to put them on the calendars even when you don’t have an agenda yet.  Many times we waited to schedule them until we needed them and it would be a month or 2 before you could coordinate everyone’s schedule.  When you have them on the calendar every few months, it’s amazing how the main things you need to spend some team-time on naturally intersect.

~ by Greg Lee on July 2, 2008.

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