Question & Answer with Chad Simons
Chad Simons is director of sales at the Collaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge. He’s been in the resort business for 27 years and has helped companies and associations plan leadership development and business planning retreats and meetings for 17 years. We asked Chad why companies should consider an offsite location for a meeting or retreat.
Most businesses have adequate conference rooms and meeting space, why should a company consider a offsite meeting or retreat?
“The best reasons for companies to get away from the office are focus, relationship building and fostering creativity,” says Chad. “Strategic planning, relationship building and team development should be an ongoing conversation within the office, but occasionally a group fares better in a fresh environment. This is especially true when they need to evaluate goals or focus on a specific issue or strategy.”
1. Focus without Distraction. When a group is away from the office there are none of the daily distractions to interrupt planning.
2. Relationship Building. Spending a day or two with coworkers builds relationships that transfers back to the office and encourages greater cooperation. When you’re with co-workers all day sharing working time, meals and breaks, communication improves, trust is built and there’s greater empathy and understanding as coworkers exchange stories and experiences. Chad said companies report that the relationships built at an offsite continue back at the office.
3. Creativity. In an office environment, employees operate in conventional patterns. They sit in the same chairs in conference rooms and even socialize with the same people. Roles are established in meetings, which doesn’t allow for the greatest possible group participation. In an offsite location, barriers are broken and people relate to each other and to business challenges in a fresh way.
4. Hear it from an expert. For more insight about why companies benefit from offsite meetings, check out the video featuring Peter Bailey of the Prouty Project. You can contact Chad by email or follow him on Twitter @SugarLakeGuy.