25 Sep 2023
Unlocking Team Workshop Success
Team workshops can receive mixed reactions; some people love the opportunity to learn about themselves and others, whereas some would rather just get on with the job they’re paid to do, and that’s the whole point of them – to learn about each other’s differences and similarities and how this complements what we do every day.
When teams are no longer working efficiently and effectively, when communication and collaboration are impacted, or when morale and motivation are waning, it could be time to consider a team workshop to identify not only why these impacts are occurring, but how to move past them.
Selling the workshop to the team is often the hardest part. It’s best to identify the reasons for the workshop and what you want to accomplish. Being transparent is important otherwise what takeaway is there for the team?
Below are our top ten tips to consider when you are planning a team workshop.
- Set clear goals: identify the specific goals you want to achieve as a result of the workshop. Whether it’s a new strategy, improving communication, or increasing productivity, setting goals is the first step towards accountability.
- Create an action plan: break down the goals into smaller actionable steps. Expecting an immediate change is unrealistic and the team may feel demoralised by change not happening quickly. As a team, work out who will be responsible for each task, set deadlines for each step, and when and how updates will be communicated. This action plan is crucial for continued accountability.
- Have regular check-ins: whether with the team or individually, regular check-ins provide an opportunity to share updates, address any challenges, and work these out as a team.
- Utilise the workshop resources: How often do we attend a workshop and then put the resources we have been issued in a drawer, only to dispose of them (or hoard them) when we change desks or roles? Incorporate the resources into your check-ins, introduce the materials into the day-to-day flow of work, and make sure everyone has access to the resources and materials issued from the workshop.
- Create a feedback loop: give and encourage open and honest feedback from the team. What is working well and what needs improvement? Encourage the team to come up with strategies to make those improvements and enhance their ownership of the change.
- Celebrate the wins: every small step that is successful should be acknowledged. Of course, it was the whole point of doing the workshop but acknowledging achievements, however small, can boost team morale and motivation.
- Have accountability partners: pairing team members as accountability partners to support each other to stay on track and achieve their goals can help with motivation and morale. This also gives them someone to discuss with if they need some guidance or reflection.
- Measure progress: again, determine the measures with the team to provide a clear and objective way to gauge the impact of the workshop on performance. Showing progress and growth keeps the momentum going and makes the team feel like they’re getting somewhere.
- Adapt and pivot: have a flexible plan as you may (and likely will) encounter unexpected challenges or opportunities that will shift the strategy. Being transparent with the team about what is changing and why, and including them in the adjustment plans, helps them to understand not just the what but the why.
- Continuous learning: the workshop is the opening of the book, not the last chapter. Encourage continued learning on the concepts and strategies covered in the workshop, additional research into how these could be included in your team/workplace and make this a regular part of your team meetings. If could be an article or podcast, an insight someone has had, or even how they implemented the team strategy at home with success.
If you are the leader of the team, lead by example. Implement the behaviours and language you want the team to emulate and acknowledge when you revert to old behaviours. Own the slips as well as the growth to make it easier for your team to be open and upfront about their own slips. It’s difficult to bring an error to a leader who is seemingly perfect and never makes mistakes.
The workshop is the first step on the journey. The actions we take in the days, weeks, and months that follow determine our true success. Stay accountable, support each other, and make the team’s potential a reality.
-Jo Stuart, Trainer