It’s part leisure, part teambuilding, and part meeting: the company retreat. But how do you plan a staff retreat that both accomplishes goals and encourages everyone to get to know one another? It can be a tall order.
From team building retreats to executive getaways, companies big and small are once again seeing the value of investing in their staff dynamics. Here are four keys to planning a successful corporate retreat.
1.Determine your end-goal.
The first key to a successful business retreat is knowing why you’re having it. Ask yourself:
- Are you hoping to facilitate deeper, personal bonds between a team that will work together closely?
- Do you want to break down walls within a large team that’s just getting to know each other?
- Are you hoping to encourage brainstorming sessions that will point your business in a bigger, broader direction?
Any staff retreat ideas you bat around should first concern whether the facility and location help you accomplish your end goal. If your mission is teambuilding and a retreat offers totally separate, individual activities, will you be building your team at all?
2. Select your guests carefully.
A “company retreat” doesn’t have to include everyone at the company! In fact, the most successful retreats pay closer attention to smaller team dynamics – a group too large will inevitably fracture into smaller groups, defeating the purpose. For some businesses, an executive retreat once a year is a great way to brainstorm and get the team outside of the everyday grind. Small- to medium-sized businesses with less than 50 employees can more readily get away with inviting the whole company on the retreat so long as activities are planned that encourage deeper bonds among teams that range from 5-15 people. Lastly, consider how hierarchal your organization operates. Is it a good idea to split up executive members from the rest of the team to encourage authenticity? Or will allowing the rest of the staff to see executive members in a more relaxed environment help break down barriers?
3. Choose the right location.
Where you choose to host your company retreat will make or break the event. For very small teams, a shared house can encourage more human interaction and facilitate “teambuilding” activities like making breakfast and sharing a living space. For larger groups, luxury retreats located in a relatively isolated locale can provide plenty of space for timid employees but may also offer much-needed amenities like boardrooms, meeting facilities, and plenty of staff to attend the team’s needs. Perhaps the most underrated feature of any corporate retreat is a facilitator. Having a concierge-style retreat planner on-site is crucial in making sure all activities run smoothly, meals are delicious and on time, and that the logistics are out of the way so you can focus on getting to know your team.
4. Plan some – but not all! – of the activities.
It wouldn’t be a company retreat without activities! Some of the best team building retreat ideas include outdoorsy activities because they present obstacles that are the exact opposite of those faced in the office. Hiking trips, mountain climbing, and even outdoor scavenger hunts make great activities that can be tailored to all physicality levels. Indoor activities can include things like local food and wine tastings or get-to-know-you sessions. The most important facet of any successful team meeting is to give employees time on their own. No one wants to be stuck with their coworkers (no matter how friendly!) for days at a time! Build time in your team’s schedule for free activities like napping, enjoying the spa, or lounging at the facility’s pool. Trust that your team will mingle on their own time just like you’ve hoped.
Corporate luxury retreats are no longer seen as an extravagance – they’re a necessity. Allowing your corporate staff an opportunity to interact on a totally different plane is critical in helping your employees understand one another. Choosing a high-end location for your retreat simply tells them you value their service and appreciate all their hard work.
The team of experienced retreat planners at Ted Turner Expeditions works with businesses large and small to plan successful company retreats. Whether you’re hosting a team of five or want to plan activities for well over 100, TTX offers several prestige properties perfect for your next company retreat.