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A Cheat Sheet for Your Team’s Offsite Retreat

The who, what, where, when, why and how.

It’s that time of year again. Time for analyzing what went well, what didn’t, and what changes are needed for next year. As part of this annual ritual, we hope that many of you choose to do a team offsite retreat. This doesn’t have to be a three-day extravaganza at a high-end resort; it can be as simple as an afternoon on your back deck. Highly functional teams tend to do these. Why? They’re really helpful for making sure everyone’s on the same page. Here’s a down and dirty Cheat Sheet to get you started: 

Where should this be held?

Anywhere outside the office with a decent setup for having a conversation and taking notes. We’ve seen great events held at a public park on picnic tables, the board room at a nice hotel, and everything in between. 

Who should be invited?

You should include everyone on the team, not just the advisors. The focus will likely be on client service, client acquisition, and practice management —all of which require a team effort.

What should we cover?

This is different for each team, but here are some popular topics:

  • Goals – What’s our No. 1 goal for next year?
  • Marketing – What are our core strategies? How frequently will they be executed?
  • New Offerings – Are there any new services or tools we plan to offer next year?
  • Service Models – What changes need to be made?
  • Team Building – What activities should we plan for getting to know each other?

How much time will this take?

This can be as short as three hours or as long as three days. It really depends on your objectives. Three hours is great for setting a team goal and working through a few critical areas you’d like to improve. A three-day event would include significant team-building exercises (spa day!) and detailed planning discussions. 

How should I explain this to my team?

“Team – we’re going to hold an offsite planning session this year. It will be a good time for us all to reflect on what’s gone well and what needs improvement going into next year. I’ll start working on our agenda. Please let me know if there are some topics you want to be sure we’ll cover.”

That’s it.  As they say, done is better than perfect. Go ahead and mark your calendar, setting the tone for a proactive and high-powered 2018!

@StephenBoswell is President of The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors@KevinANichols is the Chief Operating Officer for The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.

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