The Company Offsite Meeting Has Changed – Here’s How to Make It Most Effective

A lot has changed due to the pandemic, including the traditional offsite meeting for teams.

It is no surprise that A LOT has changed in the last few years. Work is hybrid and flexibility and expectations for inclusion are on people’s minds now more than ever.

As we return to “normal,” some things will never be the same. The standard company offsite is one.

That’s why I loved this recent piece by Aman Kidwai for HR Brew: The company off-site has changed – Once used as a fun getaway, company off-sites have become more about building culture, and even getting work done.

Team in-person time is now a precious commodity. People want lots of time for activities and discussion, along with opportunities to learn about the people they work with on a personal level. In this article, Kidwai outlines 3 key priorities as the template for the new Offsite meeting: Restoring the human connection, Building culture, and Strategy acceleration.

In addition, in my 9+ years of facilitating programs to drive inclusion, I have found three key indicators of successful team meetings with leaders.

Three key indicators of successful team meetings with leaders

1. An inclusive icebreaker activity. I personally love a funny childhood story or a fun fact about you or bringing in a meaningful photo as exercises. The key is to be inclusive – don’t ask questions that indicate socioeconomic privilege like travel, etc. Be sure to frame this activity with trust and manage time by having someone senior go first and model the appropriate timing so it does not derail the agenda.

2. Discuss more than present. Send pre-reads, especially data in advance for people to review. Not only is it a waste of people’s time to digest slides of data and deep content, but rarely are people ready to talk about it on the spot. They need time to process. A good offsite should have lots more discussion than speakers.

3. Time for commitment setting at the your meeting’s conclusion. When we spend 1 or 2 days together, people expect something to come from it. What did we decide? What are our next steps? Who’s doing what? Too often, these events end and things go back to business as usual. Make sure it creates an impact!


Planning in-person team time? Let’s chat! 

At Next Pivot Point we have lots of resources to help you facilitate successful diversity and inclusion initatives. Schedule some time with our team today to discuss where to start or how to do better. You can also check out: