Review of Giving What We Can staff retreat

post by Michelle_Hutchinson · 2016-03-21T16:31:02.923Z · EA · GW · Legacy · 4 comments

Contents

  Aims (bullet points set and shared beforehand): 
  Reasons for doing it now: 
  Costs: 
  Description of retreat:
  Examples of work we did: 
  Feedback: 
  Benefits: 
  Should we do this again?
  What we would change next time: 
  Something we might want to incorporate into our every day: 
None
2 comments

In Feb 2016, the Giving What We Can staff did a week long retreat, aimed predominantly at bonding us as a team and getting everyone on the same page about the aims and strategy of GWWC, following a couple of new staff joining us. This is a review of how it went, whether it was worth it, and what we should do differently next time, because this was the first time we did a retreat like this. I thought others in the EA community might be interested in what we learned from it, and might find it useful if their org considers doing something similar.


Aims (bullet points set and shared beforehand):

- Getting to know and trust each other well (see this video on team dynamics)

- Getting on the same page about the aims / plans / focuses of GWWC

- Understanding each other's jobs really well so that we can all explain well what the whole org does (eg how we do research, how we start up chapters)

- Being able to do activities that it would be useful for all of us to be able to (eg use the website, follow up as usefully as possible with people to find out how they heard about gwwc / nudge them to get more involved as Marinella does).


Reasons for doing it now:

Over the last few months we’ve had 3 new staff join us. That made it an important time to get on the same page and getting to know each other. We’ve also moved from one management level to two, which is a time many businesses struggle, and when it’s particularly important to concentrate on organisational culture.


Costs:

Time:

During - full week for all staff = 8 person-weeks

Before - probably 4 hours from other staff, up to 3 days from me.


Monetary cost:

Accommodation was free (stayed at Michelle’s parents’ house). Only spending was on food, which was fairly minimal because cooked our own food (office would have been providing lunches for everyone anyway).

Therefore monetary cost negligible compared to the time cost.


Description of retreat:


Examples of work we did:

We did various exercises, for example

We discussed strategy questions such as


Feedback:

At the end of the week I asked for feedback on how people had found the week, the results of which are here. 7 of the 8 of us filled it in. On a scale of 1 to 10 of usefulness of the week, where 5 is as useful as ordinary work, 1 is barely useful and 10 is way more useful than normal work, the average score was 7.4.

Unsurprisingly, it was more useful for people whose roles overlap a lot with others (like working on the blog) than ones that don’t (like research).


Benefits:

The most significant benefits from the week seemed to be:

People varied as to whether they found it more useful having the team concentrate on their area, or learning about other people’s area. Most seemed to find both somewhat useful.


Should we do this again?

It seems definitely worth doing another retreat if we get a large number of new staff, and might be worth doing in some form yearly even if don’t get new staff.  


What we would change next time:


Something we might want to incorporate into our every day:

4 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by jonathancourtney · 2016-04-01T18:09:50.176Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

༼ノಠل͟ಠ༽ノ-︵-┻━┻

:D

comment by Julia_Wise · 2016-03-22T15:44:02.730Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks; this is helpful to the retreat my team is about to have!