Organizing an offsite meeting to align your team with your company’s objectives
Engineering manager at Stripe
Companies are usually very good at setting a vision and goals. Engineers are excellent at day-to-day tasks, but sometimes you need your team to take a step back to understand how their work ties in with their company's goals.
To be successful at communicating these messages, I try to change the setting of the team, so I bring the whole team out for an offsite meeting. I try to bring everyone in the team, as well as people gravitating around the team, such as architects, back-end engineers, and project managers.
I then follow a pretty simple schedule:
- I define the vision of the company, and its short and long-term goals, upfront.
- I then give examples of how things we did, are doing, or will be doing are aligned with these objectives.
- Next, I hold a discussion about what happened in the last quarter, what went well and what didn't, and what we can we learn from it.
- Finally, I brainstorm with the team to determine what else could be done in support of the company's objectives.
I usually try to split people up for the last part. It makes it easier for everyone to participate and open up. I try to be very proactive in organizing these events, by asking for a budget for them and by motivating other managers to come along with their own team.
Having offsite meetings has the psychological effect of "I'm not at work, I'm not coding". This ensures everyone is in the right state of mind. Practically, it also ensures that no one leaves due to another meeting or appointment.
"Companies are usually very good at setting a vision and goals."
"Having offsite meetings has the psychological effect of 'I'm not at work, I'm not coding'."
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