Rock Products

MAR 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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Offsite Meetings: The Why and The How If You Are Going To Take Your People Offsite, Follow Some Simple Guidelines. By Steve Schumacher One of my clients has been having an annual offsite meeting with 100 of the top employees for several years. It al��� ways requires a lot of planning, coor��� dination, and, of course, a lot of money. These are all very valid reasons for having an offsite. Make sure you identify a valid reason for the meeting, not just ���because we al��� ways do,��� or ���we just need to get away from the plant.��� It is usually a 3���4 day event at a very nice location with all the top execu��� tives, several consultants, workshops and a number of teambuilding activi��� ties. Everyone looks forward to this event with great anticipation. Determine the objective of the offsite. What do you want people to do dif��� ferently after the meeting? What behaviors/attitudes/thinking do Steve Schumacher is a management you want to see after the meeting? If I consultant, trainer and public speaker surveyed every attendee after the end with more than 25 years of experience of the meeting, what do you want in numerous industries throughout them to say to me? If you could only North America, including aggregates operations. He can be reached at have one thing change because of this sschuma@gmail.com. meeting, what would it be? Asking yourself all of those questions will help you identify the key Supporting Employees' Need objective of the meeting. For the past couple years, I have asked many of the people who attend what they learn at these ���retreats.��� Without fail, the answer I get is ���I get to hang out with a bunch of the other people in the company that I do not see very often.��� It is a nice thing to put a face to a name, but is that really worth all of the time and money expended? Not likely. If you decide to have an offsite meet��� ing with some of your employees, keep in mind that the company is in��� vesting a lot of money in this kind of event. It is your job to make sure the company gets a return on that invest��� ment. Following are some ways to make sure that return is substantial: Ask ���why��� you need an offsite meeting. Do you have some training coming up that requires a big facility? Do you want to have a recognition event for various achievements? Do you want to pull people together to have a work��� ing meeting that needs their complete focus? Do you need to have an infor��� mation���sharing meeting with large numbers of employees at one time? 66 ROCKproducts ��� MARCH 2013 to Achieve Maximum Results Plan activities that will accomplish the objective. If you want people to leave with new skills, provide them with top���notch, interactive workshops. If you want them to help you build a new strat��� egy/vision/mission, plan break���out working groups, then have the groups report out on their work. Dry���run your activities to make sure they accomplish the objective you are seeking. Build in teambuilding activities. Whatever your objective for the meeting is, schedule some activities that allow the atten��� dees to get to know each other better. The relation��� ships that are built will in��� crease productivity when they get back to work. At a sporting event, cheerleaders are present for the single purpose of providing support for their team. The same applies to the manager in the workplace. Once plans and programs are in place it becomes the responsibility of the manager to provide the support their employees need to achieve maximum results. The nature of most positions assumes that employees are self-managing and self-directing in the majority of their activities. The traditional role of the manager was to control and direct the employees they supervised. Effective managers now support and motivate their employees by streamlining policies and procedures and by removing internal barriers to their productivity. Managers must understand that by removing internal barriers and streamlining procedures they make the employee's job easier, allowing each one to focus on more productive tasks rather than diverting their energy elsewhere. In this manner, the role of the manager is to keep their employees on track and motivated to reach their peak performance. ��� Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D www.rockproducts.com

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