Getting the most from your staff retreat

local 400 may 2010A staff retreat is time apart from the distractions and press of daily demands.  A time to get off the dance floor and up on the balcony to see what is needed most.  A facilitator supports the retreat in the following ways:

  • You and your team have a partner to help clarify the outcomes you want.
  • In designing the retreat, the facilitator has a variety of tools to maximize participation, learning and relationship building, while ensuring that outcomes are achieved’
  • During the retreat itself, you have an additional perspective and a skilled resource to analyze and resolve blocks to progress
  • A skilled facilitator will build the team’s competency, unity and commitment for a new direction

A facilitated retreat can be helpful in a variety of situations, including the following:

  • When a large campaign or a new year is beginning, and you want everyone to be on the same page.
  • When there is a change in the leadership team and the staff is unclear about the impact this will have on the culture and direction of the union.
  • At year end or at the end of a tough campaign, when success needs to be celebrated, results need to be evaluated and new goals set.
  • When your regular routine for an annual retreat needs rejuvenating.

The facilitator will work closely with you to plan, run and evaluate the retreat, including:

  • Work with a planning committee to design a draft agenda
  • Identify speakers and resources to enhance the retreat.
  • Facilitate all or some parts of the actual retreat.
  • Provide a follow up report on what was accomplished and open items.


Tom Justice and David Jamieson, The Facilitator’s Fieldbook, 2nd Ed. (2006), HRD Press.

Roger Schwarz, The Skilled Facilitator, New & Revised (2002), Jossey-Bass.

contactIconContact us to learn more about facilitated staff retreats.