A few times a year, our agency holds a special Performa Day, just for us. It’s a chance to catch up and share lessons learned, fine-tune our processes, celebrate victories big and small, and have an honest talk about where we want the agency to go. Performa Days also give us an opportunity to revisit our core values and rekindle our creative and innovative sides. This strengthens builds cohesion and ultimately leads to better employee retention.How do you plan an effective team-building day? Here are 5 tips and an itinerary!
Why hold a team day?
While our agency bases its decisions on client needs, we also take our employees and suppliers into consideration. It makes sense because ultimately they’re all our brand ambassadors. Holding a team day encourages employees to get behind your brand, which is important for your long-term prospects.Now that we’ve established the benefits, let’s review the key ingredients for making the magic happen. Check out our 5 Tips for a Successful Team Day!
TIP #1 – Venture off the beaten track (but not too far from the office!)
To encourage discussion, put everyone on equal ground by booking a space outside your workplace. We like Breather
, an AirBnB-style platform for work spaces that allows you to change your environment for a minimal cost. In summer, Montreal’s Aire commune
gives groups free access to a semi-outdoor room that is conducive to creativity. We recommend choosing a space that’s within a few kilometres from your office and located close to a metro station. The idea is to keep things simple and convenient. Unless of course someone on your team would like to host the group at their house or cottage?
TIP #2 – Plan, organize and communicate
Everyone loves a surprise, but not necessarily at work. For a team-building day, give people advance notice about the location, dress code, agenda, meal arrangements and schedule (and stick to it!). You want everyone to feel that they are in the loop. Next make sure you test all computer equipment in advance and get any other details in order. No one wants to hear excuses like “Sorry, I didn’t have time to prepare…” An impeccably organized day leads to a better experience with no wasted time. It’s your chance to set the tone for quality and show the team what you expect from them the rest of year.
TIP #3 – Ask, explore and listen!
As Einstein said: “A problem without a solution is a poorly stated problem.”
Determine which questions you want to address and let everyone pitch their ideas. You might even want to use an app such as Sli.do
to let employees submit questions anonymously. Ask the team what aspects they would like to improve in the work environment. You might want to suggest quick wins that promote employee retention and help you attract the best talent! What would make their work more meaningful? Does anyone want to be in charge of employee wellbeing? Don’t hold back on sharing responsibilities and make sure you have a budget to support the initiative.
Einstein also said: “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
Bring out your team’s creativity with a brainstorming session
. Harvard Business Review
has published a number of articles on brainstorming and the pursuit of meaningful work
TIP #4 – Stay true to your values
Since Performa Marketing is in the business of offering creative solutions and business strategies, we decided that our summer team-building day should involve exploring contemporary galleries with a passionate guide. Why art galleries? Because artists and marketing professionals have a lot in common. We push boundaries, break with conventions, observe society, engage in dialogue, and ultimately strive to come up with innovative and exceptional ideas. It’s not surprising that many artists are also excellent marketing experts. Just think of Andy Warhol
, the mastermind behind the mass-produced silkscreened series that revolutionized the art market and its value.
TIP #5 – Capitalize on your investment
We chose to visit places that shared our agency’s values of respect, sharing and creativity, and all this was clearly explained to the team. You might want to hire a photographer or videographer to capture the day’s highlights and create content for you. Sharing pics on social media can help your employees relive the moment and generate long-term value by creating a sense of belonging to the brand and catching the interest of prospective new hires.
Our team-building itinerary
With no further ado, here’s how we spent our day out in Montreal, exploring the idea of #MarketingWithPurpose. A good day was had by all, so feel free to steal our ideas. To start, look for a contemporary art expert to act as your guide. If you can’t find one, ask the gallery representatives to talk to you about their current exhibits.
- Hold morning talks in a private room at Café Brooklyn in the Mile-End.
- Inaugurate a shared bookshelf at our office featuring inspiring marketing books purchased for each employee (see the list below).
- Lunch at La Panthère verte, an eco-friendly restaurant.
- Check out Clark, a contemporary art gallery that’s part of the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec. (Free!)
- Visit Galerie circulaire and their silkscreening studios. (Free!)
- Afternoon break at Aire commune with three creative games (get ideas here). (Free! Except our drink bill!)
- Explore all three levels at Art Mûr, a commercial art gallery. (Free!)
- Dinner at the spectacularly decorated Montréal Plaza. (Not free, but memorable!)
Ideas you’ll want to steal
The Performa team now knows where to go when we want to replenish our creativity. We’ve also expanded our brainstorming toolkit with activities that encourage creativity and teach you about art history at the same time.
It’s like what Papa Smurf said at Montréal Plaza (check out the photo!): “Marketing is something that should be experienced, not explained!”
- SINEK, Simon, Start with why. Pour encourager l’innovation et l’engagement en entreprise
- BERGER, Jonah, Invisible influence : The hidden forces that shape behavior. Pour comprendre comment le consommateur prend ses décisions
- COMSTOCK, Beth (with RAZ, Tal), Imagine it forward : Courage, creativity and the power of change. Pour réinventer la manière de fonctionner et changer le monde !
- BAHCALL, Safi, Loonshots : How to nurture the crazy ideas that win wars, cure diseases, and transform industries. Pour de nouvelles idées créatives et inspirantes !
- COLLINS, Jim, Good to great : Why some companies make the leap… and others don’t. Pour savoir comment déterminer une stratégie à long terme durable.