Regardless of your budget, we can help you plan the best corporate retreat to find the perfect combination of fun, team building and work epiphanies.
Contrary to popular belief, corporate retreats are not just for team building and enhancing work relationships, they are also for improving morale, strategizing and creating a working environment that can give your team a boost. That being said, one of the most enjoyable aspects is the fun and games that often lend to new perspectives and evolving together, but finding the balance is important. These tips will help you plan the ideal retreat where everyone works hard but no one feels like it, and most importantly, you gain success driven results.
1. Know The Goal
Before starting the planning you need to understand the motivations behind the retreat. Perhaps the team is in need of a morale boost, needs to be more cohesive, ideas have gone stale or your brand needs some specific injection of knowledge or skill. Knowing the goal of the retreat is the first foundation of planning and can allow you to organise the perfect retreat with the goal in mind.
2. CATER TO INTROVERTS
Everyone is different and you will undoubtedly have both introverts and extroverts on your team and while a retreat is exciting for the latter, the former can dread it. For an introvert, retreats are draining but you can do some things to ensure they are catered for, for example have silent games or get people to write answers down rather than rely on them speaking out. This way everyone will be more comfortable with the prospect of going.
3. Check The Tech
Even the most laid back corporate retreats require some work which means you will need either reliable internet, which we pride ourselves on projection facilities, conference calling or other technical capabilities so ensure that you check the venue and destination for their tech specifications before booking! Also check the phone signal strength for the area too. Unless you want everyone to be completely cut off from civilisation…
4. Add Downtime
Work is important but so is scheduling in some unstructured free time for your attendees. Allow them to see the sights, shop or visit the local nightlife and it will pay off in the boardroom later. Particularly if you are staying together it can be a lot all at once so downtime allows people to step away and unwind in the same way they would when they leave the office but you will find it’s a great impromptu team building exercise too, as many will stick together or form new friendships.
5. Give Homework
Ask your attendees to prep before the retreat, give some thought to an issue, bring along questions, ideas or things they would like to see changed. A bit of pre-planning can be useful and get the best out of the retreat.
6. Hire A Skilled Facilitator
For the execution, you can hire one of us at The William due to our expert knowledge and experience dealing with smaller groups. Ensure the facilitator, if not at The William is well briefed and works with you beforehand to ensure they understand the background, issues and aims of the retreat. Having the right facilitator is probably the biggest single step you can take, ant The William facilitators are experts at success driven results, if this is your aim.
7. Organize A Follow-Up
After the retreat have a follow up meeting or send an email with everything that was achieved, problems raised and where you are going to go from here so that everyone is on the same page. It is also a great way to have a record and use this at the next retreat to refresh and compare what you have done and progress.
8. Leave Titles At The Door
It can be intimidating going away with your boss, especially if you are sharing accommodation and are with each other all the time, so ensure attendees leave their job title and seniority at the door when it comes to excursions and fun so that everyone can enjoy it and relax.
9. Device Disconnect
This is a controversial one but consider asking attendees to truly focus during the short working phases so that they are completely present and to avoid distractions as this can foster a better working environment to get things done much more effectively. Not putting anything on silent but actually turning devices OFF or leaving them in a device bucket outside the door will help with temptation.
10. Book Early
As with most travel plans, booking flights and hotels early will get you the best deals so planning far in advance can help you save on a lot, particularly if you are going in larger groups or using a popular location.
11. Start Small, Stay Intimate
While everyone would love to visit a tropical island for their retreat, you don’t need to go big to make it successful, particularly if you have first started. Try somewhere local or just outside your local city for minimal costs but the same effect. We provide an intimate elevated location for the more intimate, focused and powerful retreats in the scenic Texas Hill Country, which perfectly elevates any retreat to gain insight and results.
12. Debrief Existing Conferences To Implement Directly
Is the team planning on attending a tradeshow or conference this year already? Incorporate your retreat around an existing trip and tack on an extra 3 days for implementation, plan your itinerary and use the event as the main part of your retreat activities!
A corporate retreat doesn’t have to drain the budget but it does have to be productive and also motivational for the attendees so don’t forget about the work aspect. That being said, these tips will help you to plan a killer corporate retreat that attendees will enjoy so much it won’t feel like hard work!
Scarlett Ramey, Corporate Retreat Planner