9 Steps to Plan a Development Day Your Team Will Actually Look forward To

Team Development Days are valuable.  They are an opportunity to get your team feeling connected, motivated and energised. A chance to step back and review how your team works ready to make improvements and implement new ideas. An ideal way to clarify the team vision and draw up a plan of action.

To make this happen and avoid running a day that makes your team uncomfortable/bored/annoyed, you’ll need to do some excellent planning.

Here are 9 steps to help you plan the kind of development day your team will actually look forward to being part of. These steps apply to small and large teams:

1) Aim:

The purpose of the day is expressed as an aim and is the most important factor when it comes to planning. Be very clear and specific about the aim of the day, ensuring that the focus is on just one aim that is manageable and realistic. When considering activities to support the goals you set, ask of each one

“Will this actually enable us to achieve the aim?”

2) Engage your Team:

Communicate the aim of the event to the team before the day and involve your team by inviting contribution to the planning. This could simply be asking for ideas or sharing a survey at the planning stage. Alternatively, a small group with members from all aspects of the team could be gathered to put the day together with you. Find out what the team wants to gain from the day and what skills, strengths or interests they can contribute.

3) Activities:

Your team will come together for one day only. Make sure the activities are worth it. Make the day interactive. Mix presentations with group work and enable all members to participate. Challenge your team but avoid scheduling activities that could make your team feel exposed or unnecessarily uncomfortable.

4) Maintain Momentum:

Development days require team members to use large quantities of brain energy and feel constantly ‘on’. A later start or earlier finish to the day will be appreciated. Make sure the team has access to snacks, water, toilets and space to go for a walk or move around. Schedule regular breaks that are not overly long and risk losing momentum. Encourage the team to use breaks to connect with other each other.

5) Set Expectations:

Team days are expensive. Simple, unobtrusive expectations, set as ground rules, will help you all make the most of the time together. For example, making sure the team attend, are on time, switch off phones, participate and share expectations they have of the team on the day. With these in place it is much easier to concentrate on the aim of the day.

6) Set the Tone:

This is an opportunity for your team to see your leadership in action. Include time on the day to share your vision for the team, give feedback, be candid about issues facing the team and open to taking questions. Plan how these conversations could be managed and how you wish to present yourself. Take time to explicitly appreciate the team’s successes and strengths as well as motivate them for what lies ahead.

7) Raise Your Team Profile:

Your development day is valuable to your team and ultimately to your company- communicate this to your boss. Inviting your boss, a client/customer or a member of another team to attend part of your team day is a good way for them to see your team in action. You can then further raise the profile of your team by writing up and distributing a brief report about the day. Include the aim of the day, follow up actions and team feedback.

8) Actions & Follow Up:

A successful team day can get everyone feeling fired up and ready to make things happen. Build on this. Capture actions throughout the day. As one of the last activities, review the actions. Ensure every team member goes away with a task and commitment to keep the momentum going. Circulate the key actions after the away day and schedule in a review point. Refer back to these actions during team meetings and when planning your next event.

9) Review:

Continue to engage your team by evaluating the event. Use a quick and easy method such as inviting comments at a team meeting or sharing a simple survey. Respond to any major themes and remember to refer back to this feedback when planning your next event.

Anise is here to support your team development from one-to-one coaching and running walking team meetings to engaging your team and facilitating your development day. 

Get in touch to find out more about how Anise can help your team feel energised and confident with strong working relationships: https://walkcoachlearn.co.uk/team-events/  

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