Teams that offsite together, stay together — How to create the perfect offsite for your team

“Our team is part of our product”

Jampp Team

April 5, 2019

“Our team is part of our product”

As we’ve said before, at Jampp we believe our team is our greatest asset. And the why behind this can be summed up in one very significant word: passion 👊💥

Passion for solving difficult problems, passion for helping advertisers grow their businesses, passion for taking complex concepts and technologies and explaining them in a way anyone can understand, passion for building a great team, and so on…

There are as many passions as there are Jamppers but, at the end of the day, that driving-force is propelling us in the same direction.

As our products evolve, so must our teams. So, what’s our strategy to grow and develop exceptional teams? There are a few variables that are part of the equation; like the way we do hiring and onboarding, or the way we design and redesign our offices. In this post we’ll focus on our team offsites.

Offsites 101 🤓📚

If you google a definition of “team offsite” you’ll probably end up with something along the lines of “an occasion when employees get together outside the office for a particular activity, usually team-building related”.

A textbook definition might be just that, but at Jampp the how and the why are the questions that guide us to create useful and ultimately successful offsites. How we think an offsite is by having people in mind and why is to generate a space where we can take a step back from our day to day responsibilities to reflect on what’s been done and think/rethink strategies to tackle the challenges we are facing.

With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the most important things (at least for us) that have helped us put together 📍 🗺️ 8 offsites in 4 countries in the past 3 years. We hope these tips and learnings will be helpful for other companies wanting to upscale their offsites from a “meeting day outside the office” to a “tailor-made opportunity for each team to align priorities and strengthen their bond”.

Jamppers can measure their Jampper-life in t-shirts because we have one for every event 😉

One offsite to rule them all — or maybe not 🤨

Even if we think offsites can benefit every team, they are not one-size-fits-all. Product may need to focus on ways of unleashing the creative side of the team; Sales may rather work on their pitching skills or CRM dashboard reporting, while Tech could benefit from a hackathon for a little inspiration.

That’s why we cater offsites for each teams’ needs.

Still, despite their differences, there is or should be a point to them: each offsite has concrete goals and measurable results. These action points will give the team a route map to focus on in order to work towards their quarterly OKRs.

To give a few examples: it might be the case that one team is wrapping up a major project so they go on an offsite to re-define their processes and prepare to move from working only in one project to working on several at a time. Or, a different team might want to gain business insights from other teams in order to work on their inter-team collaboration.

When brainstorming, outlining new processes and focusing on your goals, post its are your bffs

After all the hard work and a closing session to recap what has been accomplished, each team participates of a surprise team activity related to the offsite’s theme and event name (yes, each offsite has its own name and theme 😎).

Branding… matters

Apart from goals and results, there’s another thing that makes every Jampp Offsite unique and that’s branding.

Once we’ve got the location and theme figured out, we come up with an event name and tagline that reflects what we want to achieve.. Then we go all out: from logo and swag to slide templates and signs — every detail matters to make it feel like an event and not simply a “working outside the office” kind of day/week.

Some of our offsite themes…

Agenda setting 📆

Once you have your goals figured out, it’s time to think about the sessions that will help your team achieve them. And what better way to do that than by having an agenda in line with the team’s key results?

Some pro tips:

  • Hand it out early on so people know what to expect (and how to organize their day if they need/want to fit in calls/ exercise).
  • Schedule some free time/ distended activities as there’s only so much time people can give you their undivided attention.

About those activities we mentioned 👩‍🍳🏄🕵️‍♀️🏃‍♂️

From hiking and surfing to cooking and gaming, team activities are a must for a number of reasons, but mainly because we view them as opportunities to strengthen each team’s bond.

The activity should go along with the event’s theme and, most importantly, make sense for the team — it’s ok for people to step out of their comfort zone a little, but nobody should have a bad time. For example, when the sales team was in Los Angeles, one of the activities was an improv class to work on their pitching skills Hollywood style 🎬 🎭

The finance team sure knows how to serve “predictability a la carte” and they took a cooking masterclass to prove it.
Starting a new project? Why not go to a break club: 20 minutes to break stuff and recharge to build anew.
” and they took a cooking masterclass to prove it. // Right: Starting a new project? Why not go to a break club: 20 minutes to break stuff and recharge to build anew.
Different teams coming together for one offsite? A Creative/ Art Workshop might be what you need, some of the best solutions come from looking at things from a different perspective 💡

Extra: Wear sunscreen and other basics ☀️

Before offsite-ing, send a kick-off email to the team and make sure to include a short list with some must-haves depending on the location and agenda — for example: sunscreen or an extra light jacket for outdoor activities.

Another major basic is food, while it won’t make or break your offsite, details matter 😋! Make sure you ask about dietary restrictions in advance and do some research for the best suppliers in the area. #DelightInEveryInteraction.

Wrapping Up

Teams that offsite together, stay together BUT this does not mean you should plan an offsite just because everyone else is doing it. The why behind every offsite is just as important as aiming for flawless execution; so:

  • Think of your values
  • Think of your KRs
  • Think of your team (their needs, challenges, etc)

At Jampp, we try to think BIG and creatively, and resourcefully (on a budget) in terms of the event’s organization because then the team will too! That’s the whole point of offsites: to think outside the box and deliver key results. The fact that the sessions are especially tailored for your team and your goals in an environment that has also been completely customized, make you feel part of something big, something that’s worth being a part of and that actually makes sense with the goal(s) you’re trying to achieve.