Benefits of a post-covid experiential learning offsite team retreat

We’ve all participated in team bonding events! Whether it was an escape room, a dinner, or a workshop in the office. But did you know team building, if done right, is a very different experience when facilitated with experiential learning as the goal.

What if there was a way for your team to take what they’ve learned and actually carry it back and implement it in their everyday work? 

Most team building events include experiential learning. Experiential learning is an opportunity for teams to learn by doing. Learning through the reflection of doing is a simple way to explain experiential learning. 

This method of learning gives leaders and team members the tools and opportunities to practice what they’ve learned in a safe environment. They have a better idea of how to use the practices they learned when they get back to the office. This method also focuses on the experience rather than academic based learning. By doing, the message is received a little clearer versus traditional training programs. There are also solutions to measure success and practices on how to apply the learning into the workplace.

Meaningful offsite team building is crucial! Especially after this past year where in-person activities were put on hold. Hosting these events will help your team get back into the swing of things as the world reopens. Team building is led by an experienced and trained facilitator and addresses various challenges such as trust, communication, and problem solving. 

Today we’ll be exploring the benefits of experiential learning and experiential retreats.

Have fun while being challenged

Having fun in the workplace is linked to higher creativity among the team, lower turnover rates, and better delivery on the organization’s mission. 

When workers are having fun they’re more likely to be engaged in team-building and learning activities. It’s nice to have a chance to let loose, try new things, and have a day out of the office. Experiential learning allows unique interactions and engagement on their learning journey. 

Participants receive an experience that has a compelling story linked to game-based challenges; this is achieved through well-structured experiential learning. It’s also fun to enjoy a non-typical workday. 

Connecting out of the office

Now that we can gather and reconnect in person, off-site experiences are a great opportunity to bond and have a good laugh. 

As a leader, it’s important to set aside time for your team. An offsite experience will show your team you are willing to take time and plan things that matter. 

Use these offsite activities to build relationships between team members and leaders too. The foundation between coworkers needs to be strong in order to hold one another accountable and provide constructive feedback. When people are removed from the office setting they are able to be themselves in ways they might not be able to at work! Never underestimate the power of spending quality time in person with your team.

It’s key to connect and improve on your existing workplace culture. It will bring your team together to strengthen their bonds. When you give your team the opportunity to work cohesively, it will help them transition into working together in the office. 

Foster psychological safety among your team

We have talked about psychological safety in a past blog post. As a refresher, psychological safety is the belief that one can contribute to the team without the fear of negative consequences or retribution. It is present in all high-functioning teams. 

Experiential learning provides an environment where everyone can contribute. The team learns together in a setting with fun interactions. Everyone is on the same playing field. The session is experienced in a safe place so there are no consequences if anyone “messes up”. When psychological safety is present your team will feel respected and accepted. It also increases a team member’s engagement. 

Even after the retreat or experiential learning experience, your employees will be more inclined to participate in meetings and round table discussions. 

Why have an outdoor offsite experiential learning retreat?

With so much disconnection from remote work and teams moving into their next transition back to work, this is a great opportunity for people to come together to reconnect, laugh and learn.

Offsite retreats take away the stress of a traditional work environment. Your team might be suffering from stress, burnout, and they might be struggling to produce work at the same caliber they were pre-pandemic. 

Teams these days prefer to get out there and participate in experiential learning opportunities versus just being told what to do. 

Taking your team to an outdoor retreat is a great way to rekindle their passion and morale. It will allow them to improve themselves. They’ll work together and when you achieve something as a team, you feel good! Did you know that confidence can lead to greater productivity? 

What kind of experiential outdoor retreat should you look into though? 

Take your team to new heights with a ropes course

Modern ropes courses date back to the early 1900s and have continued to grow in popularity. 

Ropes courses test physical skills but a facilitated ropes course experience will provide opportunities for mental growth as well. 

A facilitator will guide your team. Trained facilitators will be able to manage psychological safety that is another key factor in the course. 

Before booking your retreat be sure to ask questions to ensure the staff is qualified. Asking questions such as the types of groups they cater to, what training they put their staff through, and the level of credentials they have will give you a good idea if your team will be successful at that particular course. 

When the challenge impacts the solo and group dynamic it will deliver a more cohesive team and productive session. Your group doesn’t necessarily need to go into the session with a problem to solve or present issues, but if they are resolved during your retreat time, that’s a win for the team. 

By investing time and effort into experiential learning retreats, your team will come together to be stronger as a group. Experiential learning will help your team develop self-awareness and establish a frame of reference for future learning in the workplace! 

When are you booking your next offsite retreat? Check us out!

 

At NexLevel, we’re experts in building healthy organizations through cohesive teams and engaged employees. We will help you and your employees become the high-performance team you’ve always wanted to be by focusing on collaboration, creativity, culture, and connection. Let’s Connect