How to Conduct a Team Planning Day
Turn working groups into effective teams
Key learning outcomes:
- Learn that working towards a common goal improves a team’s effectiveness.
- Recognise that informing your team of the purpose of the planning day and encouraging their participation is crucial to the success of the day.
- Acknowledge the value of thoughtful preparation for the planning day.
- Understand that the outcomes of a planning day should be compiled and distributed, and follow-up communication should take place.
In a small business, having your team working as effectively as possible can mean the difference between success and failure. It is important to understand how the impact of any issues, disagreements or disruptions will be much greater in a smaller business than in a large corporation. Even if just one or two of your team members are not working as effectively as they could, the impact on your overall business productivity and profitability is substantial.
Research shows that having everyone in a team working towards the same goals is an essential ingredient of an effective team. A team planning day will allow you to gain buy-in from all team members with respect to these goals. This article gives you a step-by-step guide to formatting and facilitating the day. You will find some of the topics included in the planning day are covered in depth in individual learning articles and we suggest you work through each of these before conducting your session. You will find the links throughout the article and also in the top section under essential previous learning.
Step one: Think about the logistics
There are a number of issues you need to think about before you start:
- Where will the session be held? Do you have an appropriate space at your workplace or will you need to find another location?
- What equipment will you need, for example, projector, screen, whiteboard or flip chart?
- When will be the best time to conduct the planning day? It is essential that everyone in your team can attend; therefore, you need to consider how this will work for your business. Can you close for the day? Can a temporary staff member be hired for the day? Can you hold the session on a non-working day?
- Who will lead the day? It can be helpful to have someone from outside the business facilitate the day. This makes you one of the team rather than being the leader and can encourage more open and robust discussion.
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