Company retreats are growing rapidly in popularity previously a compulsory weekend of team bonding now more of a look forward to event on the workplace calendar. But what has transformed company retreats from boring weekends away with work colleagues to an exciting bonding weekend.
In this article we will look at what makes an effective company retreat and how you can utilize these points to make your company retreat stand out.
The location of your company retreat is one of the most crucial elements of the entire journey. What’s crucial about your choice in location is that you pick somewhere that will take your employees out of their comfort zone and force them to embrace new challenges.
That often comes from finding a location that offers both comfortable accommodations as well as a unique climate that differs from what you may be used to at the home office. For example, when it comes to corporate retreats in London, your idea of a picnic in Hyde Park would be much better served if your company was located across the country rather than across the street.
Take the time to subvert the expectations of your employees and really put them out there in a location that challenges them to see things differently. Have a home office in the big city? Try taking your company to a remote location or show them vast, open plains and a larger sense of scope.
Working with opposites is a good rule to follow here. If your office is in the city plan an escape to the countryside. If your office is rural plan a city retreat.
More so than any other event coordinated by your company, retreats need to be tailor-made to help build relationships that help the company grow and prosper. Happy employees are productive employees.
But before you fill your schedule with all sorts of mixers and socials, remember that cultivating relationships cannot happen on a set schedule. Therefore, try to build your events in a way to where relationships can thrive, instead of building events specifically designed to be relationship builders.
These events typically fail because relationships cannot be manufactured so forcing employees to get along simply won’t work.
A better way to allow relationships to grow is to plan events and activities that foster communication and promote working together. Anything from team sporting events to escape rooms and anything else in between can be helpful, if not critical, to the success of your company retreat.
Remember that this is supposed to be a fun and natural way for employees to form bonds with each other so do not be offended if a few company jokes make their way into the dinner talk.
As the name company retreat suggests this is a break from work for many employees.
You want your retreat to feel like an escape rather than a 24/7 workday. And likewise, if you’ve been organizing this retreat either alone or with a small group, remember that you’ll need rest time just as much as your employees.
Although you may be tempted to fill every minute of every day with activities DON’T. Allow your employees time to rest and relax. This downtime is also when most friendships will develop when they are not under the watchful eye of the management team.
Having planned R&R on the books will also help your employees better focus in on the sessions where you need them focused the most. The more time they can take to relax, the more willing they will be to work with you during debriefs and company discussions.
A lot of companies often want to end the retreat with some kind of forward planning and action steps to achieve more in the workplace.
Avoid this if your employees have had a great company retreat and thoroughly enjoyed themselves the last thing, they will want to do is be brought back down to earth with an office still meeting.
Allow them time to go home and share their experience with their family and friends once they return to work refreshed and still talking about the fantastic company retreat you planned this would be the ideal time to set goals and targets.
Approaching it this way employees will feel much more obliged to commit and work harder so that they can potentially attend another fantastic company retreat.