Offsites: The who, what, where, when and why

Every day, startups teams are executing to grow fast, multi-tasking across functions, working in squads, connecting remotely, and managing multiple stakeholders. All this while the founders spend time on both hiring and raising money.

The startup journey is hard and taking a break is important. Maybe not a real break (cash is too precious for that), but a break from the day-to-day in which the whole team comes together to connect. 

Offsite basics:

Who: The entire team. Don’t leave anybody out. Consider inviting key stakeholders (mentors, investors, clients) to participate in some activities. Founders can also include experts to give talks on specific topics.

What: One (or more!) day-long schedule of actives. The agenda should include talks from the founders, strategy sessions and team-building games.  Oriana Fuentes, co-founder of Emptor, recommends to “budget some work hours in the itinerary . . . and include a half day off for optional activities or rest.There a many things you can do without spending too much money. It is a great time to hand out mugs, pens, t-shirts and other products with the company logo.

Where: Definitely out of the office. Possibly in another city. Some teams in Peru rent apartments in Cusco or Arequipa.

When: Anytime is good. Once every year is great, especially if your team is growing. You can plan an offsite after bringing on new team members or when you are facing an important strategic decision or pivot.

Why: There are lot of reasons to do an offsite. Here are some:

  1. Share the company vision (again and again)
  2. Strengthen culture (especially for remote teams)
  3. Motivate team (they could probably make more money elsewhere)
  4. Establish KPIs, OKRs for the coming months.
  5. Show-off the team to investors (and give the team a chance to meet investors)
  6. Fun. 

So, tell your team an offsite is coming and block off a few days in the calendar. The details will come together later. 

Leave a Reply