Staff Trip – Part 2

As I shared yesterday, planning our Cross Point staff trip is one of my favorite things that I get to do.  I love creating an experience where our team has concentrated time to learn and grow together.

But for as much as I love it, I still make a lot of mistakes.  Here’s some things I’ve learned (by trial and error) that make for a great staff trip:

Get the date on the calendar EARLY and fiercely protect it. There will always be good things that get in the way as your year unfolds, but don’t sacrifice this trip.  Build your calendar around it.

Make it mandatory. Very few things are mandatory in our staff culture, but this is one thing that will now be mandatory for us.  The content and the camaraderie experienced on this trip can’t be reproduced.  Employees who miss the trip miss out on key bonding moments as a team.  Get it on the calendar early, so that everyone can plan appropriately.

Don’t over-program. I have a tendency to try to do too much.  Even this year I was really nervous that I had left too much free time.  Relationships are the most important thing you’ll accomplish on a staff trip, so don’t be afraid to leave good chunks of down time.  Relationships need space, not structure.

Don’t let budget defeat you. It doesn’t have to cost a lot.  Get creative.  One year we rented cabins at a local state park.  They were cheap and I should mention, not exceptionally nice.  But, we themed the trip “Cross Point Goes to Camp” and played to our environment rather than fighting it.  We also cook all our own meals and we keep them simple.  Cold cut sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner, etc.  This year we did chili and baked potatoes one night.  Super cheap but still great!

Use other voices.  Your staff hear you all the time and even though you may feel like you have so much you want to say, let someone else say it.  This year we invited another pastor to come and speak to our team.  I also had another one of our staff leaders lead one section of our discussion.  My goals were accomplished and I guarantee the team took more away from it.

Have fun! Throw in some surprises, create little goody bags, have plenty of snacks particularly snacks you know your team likes.  If you know they are gonna wanna watch Monday night football, build it into the schedule.  Watch the energy of the team and observe what they are enjoying and then adjust for it if you can.  Don’t feel bound to the schedule.  Let it breathe and make sure you enjoy yourself too!

What would you add?  What makes a great staff trip for you?

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