Company retreats are often considered as a weeklong playground of corporate hedonism and absolutely no work, which is why they are often scrapped. However, we are happy to say that this point of view is changing – slowly but surely.
Instead of such activities being a complete waste of time, company retreats could be used as a thoughtful and effective way of improving your employees’ productivity and performance. This could lead to improved morale and more meaningful workplace relationships.
These minute details are very critical whether you work remotely or in an office together. Many bigger companies have a separate budget for productive retreats. Events such as pit-stop challenges, team performance events and many more are often the go-to for big corporations wanting to treat their employees.
But small companies cannot afford to have a different budget for such events. They need to manage and build a strong team based on what they already have at their disposal.
Company retreats help employees understand each other’s personalities better. For non-remote teams, having a retreat will help shake up the existing status quo and get the creative juices flowing in a healthy environment.
Planning a company retreat has its own challenges. You have to understand the fact that every individual learns differently and at a different pace. Remember this, as it might come in handy when planning company retreats.
So how do you take a team of 30 something people with different tastes and successfully plan for meals and fun ways to keep them engaged and recharged?
Well, just like differentiated instruction/learning, differentiated retreat planning is the need of the hour when you are looking to organise company retreats. You should basically provide variety and choice at your event and the results will be maximum happiness and a trip worth remembering.
The next few things you need to manage are as follows:
A company does not have to invest a lot in their retreats. To determine the approximate budget, consider the size of your company and where you plan to go for the retreat. If this is the first time you are planning a retreat, then it is advisable to start small.
For instance, you can rent small houses in the outskirts of the city and keep things simple. If your organisation has employees that function remotely and you are still concerned about the expense, remember that it is less expensive to fly everyone someplace twice a year than having to pay rent on an office space in the UK for over a year.
It is important to understand that getting to the location of your planned retreat is equally important as the retreat itself. For this very reason, we suggest that you look for places that are near to major airports or are a short drive away.
It helps your team members feel relaxed and happy that they are about to spend time with their co-workers. Also, you never know who on your team might get motion sickness, so the less time on a bus or car, the better it will be for everyone travelling.
You might think that top notch or costlier accommodation arrangements set the tone for your company retreat. However, accommodations in an impeccable hotel that pays attention to minute details will make your employees feel comfortable, raise their morale right from the start and encourage everyone to bring their A-game.
Even though it is advisable to book your accommodation ahead of time, in reality it is not always doable. For what it’s worth, you can rely on travel review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp for essential details.
If your budget permits, you can allocate every employee a private room. Even though this might increase your budget, we believe that your team will deeply appreciate some quiet time and a chance to recharge alone.
4. Structuring Activities
Unless your team is full of extroverts, it is essential to schedule some time for communication as well as unstructured free time. Spending time on high-energy events can leave your employees feeling exhausted.
So make sure you are providing your team with a choice of how they wish to spend their time – it adds to employee delight. Make sure they are well-informed about the activities planned for them.
When it comes to food, make sure that you take everyone’s food allergies (if any) or dietary restrictions into consideration. You don’t want people to suffer with allergies or an illness while they are on a retreat.