Preparing for a Workshop
Saying “let’s do a workshop”, is too broad. There are different types of workshops, and each has specific goals and outcomes. Let us outline some of these steps:
Define the goals – The workshop must have an objective. The objective will differ based on your team’s individual needs. Is your team’s productivity dropping, do you need to build rapport amongst the team?
Decide who will attend – It may seem more beneficial to have the senior members of the team. However, if you have members from various departments – you will be surprised at the varying perspectives. Having participants from the marketing, design, strategy, and sales team will diversify your solutions.
Decide the location – workshops can often be fun and are highly interactive. If the conference room does not have space to walk around. Then you are limiting the workshops ability to create an open-plan work environment.
Create a specific plan – to ensure the workshop runs smoothly, you need to develop an outline for what the team will expect.
Main objectives – What is the primary objective? Do these larger objectives need to be broken down to point out additional details?
Visual aids – Do you need access to a whiteboard, sticky notes, voting dots, markers? Being unprepared or missing materials looks unprofessional, but it also calls upon quick thinking and your ability to be resourceful (if you are not good at these things, do not forget anything!)
Discussions and activities – Take time to list out all the steps of the workshop. How long you will spend on each task and the rules for that task (whether there is no talking or an open floor discussion).
Develop a follow-up plan – To see what the participants and members thought of the workshop. And to determine the success is to have a follow-up plan. Some ideas include providing a questionnaire or developing a follow-up presentation.
Image taken from Sprint Stories
What are the Benefits?
So now we know what we need to do to prepare for a workshop. We should break down the key benefits and expectations for your team spending a few hours or days doing a workshop, or how workshopping with your clients can help make them more excited about your service.
This link to Team Building Ativities shows some ideas for workshops used to break the ice.
Feedback – Not everyone takes criticism well. However, constructive criticism can really improve your work. The facilitator of the workshop will often probe the team. Encouraging more depth if their ideas are only scratching the surface.
New ways of thinking – As mentioned earlier, having team members from multiple departments opens doors to problems that we would not normally consider. Your fellow workshopper may have a unique view, can offer new insight into problems, and allow you to build on each other’s ideas.
Relationship building – You may not have had the opportunity to get to know your co-workers, by workshopping, you may find some common interests, or hear some great travel stories that inspire you. Putting in some effort to build rapport can streamline communication channels amongst your staff or clients in the future.
New opportunities – Workshopping can help introduce new ways to publish or showcase your work. If you are developing a new product or service, one of the staff members that are not involved in the design process may know someone who’s art style matches up with the branding that your team is aiming for. Who would have thought?
Motivation to work – After workshops, you quite often feel rejuvenated with new energy. If you have a new project, you and your team or clients are working on. Then you are likely to feel motivated to get started.
Bonus tip – Fun! The underlying factor that workshops are known for is that they are very different from a typical workday. It takes you out of your comfort zone, and you feel better for it.
Image is taken from employee performance
Now that we have highlighted some of these benefits, How, can you implement them into your current practice?
Here at Rove, we specialize in running workshops our facilitator is experienced and ensures all five of these tips come to fruition.
Want to learn how to transform your team into a high-performing unit that can deliver quick results? Click here to view our Ultimate Workshop guide.
If you think you would be interested in running a workshop or would like to find out more please click here to book a call with one of our staff.
Thanks for reading.