Unique Ideas for Planning a Great Corporate Retreat

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Bringing together your staff members and going somewhere where everyone can connect on a stronger level is good for morale and great for productivity and everyone’s mental health, too. Burnout is real and employees are experiencing it more and more these days. A corporate retreat is an amazing way to get your staff feeling refreshed, motivated, and connected again. [1]Harari, O. (1995, June). Before your next company retreat, read this! Management Review, 84 (6), 49+. Retrieved June 2, 2022, from … Continue reading

So, how exactly do you plan a good company retreat agenda? Between finding the right location and planning activities everyone will enjoy, it can feel like the pressure is on. That’s why we’ve compiled some of our top tips on planning a unique corporate retreat that will leave you and your staff feeling great.

Types of Corporate Retreats

When planning your retreat, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what kind of retreat you want to plan for your employees. You need to take into consideration why you might be planning this retreat in the first place, as well as your overall goals for everyone who attends. For example, helping your team bond and improving communication skills are common goals. Some of the most common types of company retreats you might find include the following.

For example, helping your team bond and improving communication skills are common goals. Some of the most common types of company retreats you might find include the following.

Team-Building Retreats

Team-Building RetreatsA team-building retreat is what comes to most people’s minds when someone mentions a “corporate retreat.” These kinds of company gatherings focus on building relationships between employees and helping them connect on new levels. [2]Kozlowski, S. W. J., & Ilgen, D. R. (2006). Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 7 (3), … Continue reading

At team-building retreats, there are often exercises and activities that help bring the staff together, from ice-breakers to outdoor sports competitions. The stronger connections and relationships that are built help lead to better teamwork and productivity at work, in addition to boosting overall morale. [3]Patel, S., O’Brien, B. C., Dulay, M., Earnest, G. Shunk, R. L. (2018). Team Retreats for Interprofessional Trainees and Clinic Staff: Accelerating the Development of High-Functioning Teams. … Continue reading

Leadership Retreats

Leadership RetreatsLeadership retreats focus on employees who are in charge of other employees and are responsible for delegating tasks. Sometimes referred to as “executive retreats,” leadership retreats take the executives (leaders) of the company and give them an opportunity to slow down and think. Often, executives work long hours with little free time, which can get draining quickly. A leadership retreat can help avoid burnout, keep morale high, and help your leaders connect to their roots as employees.

Conference Retreats

Conference Retreats

 

While most conference retreats are intended for larger companies with multiple locations across a region, they can still be done on a smaller scale with the correct tools. You’ll just need to find the right location and ensure your conference functions as a staff retreat for a small staff. A conference retreat is one of the most common types of retreats planned, as they can be incredibly productive while bringing people together.

They often center around new business plans, ideas, or constructive conversations the company has been wanting to have. Conference retreats are most commonly held at large convention centers and hotels, but their locations can easily vary depending on the number of people that are expected to attend.

How to Choose the Best Type of Retreat/ Retreat Activities

Choosing a location and the type of activities you want to conduct at your company retreat can be difficult. While you want to make sure everyone enjoys themselves, it’s still important that you prioritize your overall goal of the retreat. Establishing your overall goal will help immensely with planning.

For example, if your main goal for this retreat is to help your team bond, then an outdoor retreat where your staff can relax, do fun activities, and discuss work is an amazing option. Some of the most popular kinds of retreats and activities include:

Outdoor Retreats and Activities

Outdoor Retreats and Activities

 

Outdoor retreats, and the outdoor activities you can do there, weigh in as some of the most common company retreats as well as the most popular among attendees. From going on group hikes to spending a few nights in a remote location, there are so many fun things to do outside with a group of people. In addition, outdoor retreats are a great option because they give your staff the ability to get out of the office and see nature, on top of getting time to work and relax with their coworkers.

Outdoor activities work incredibly well for team building and morale boosting, since being in nature has stress-reducing capabilities. [4]Largo-Wight, E., Chen, W. W., Dodd, V. Weiler, R. (2011). Healthy workplaces: the effects of nature contact at work on employee stress and health. Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974), 126 … Continue readingSome of the top outdoor activities you might see at a corporate retreat include:

  • Picnics
  • Hiking
  • Group sports days
  • Scavenger hunts (around a city, around bars, etc.)
  • Camping / glamping

Online Retreats and Activities

Team-Building Exercises

 

In the last few years, online retreats and remote activities have become increasingly popular due to travel restrictions and implemented safety measures. Because of this, it has also made having an online retreat much easier for those who hadn’t considered this type of retreat before.

An online retreat allows you to gather your staff in one place without having to require travel. Team-building, constructive conversation, conferencing, and other common retreat activities can still be done online. Keep in mind that poor internet connections or lack of participation may become a problem.

Team-Building Exercises

Whichever kind of retreat you plan, it’s always important to include some sort of team-building or bonding activities for your employees. Whether you’re a new business that just launched, or you and your employees have been working together for years, sometimes just simply having the opportunity to connect with your other coworkers in a new space can garner tremendous results.

Team-building exercises vary greatly depending on what you and your team enjoy, how you interact, and how you feel you can build relationships. For some groups, that might be a fun beach volleyball game with teams, while others might try obstacle courses or even an escape room. Whatever it may be, helping your team build stronger relationships will ultimately help their overall performance at work. [5]El-Said, Osman. (2014). Impacts of Workplace Relationships on Employees’ Perceptions of Productive Work Environment. Conference: EuroCHRIE Dubai Conference Proceedings, The Emirates Academy of … Continue reading

Popular Corporate Retreat Locations

The location you choose for your retreat will highly depend on what you want to do and where the majority of your company’s staff are already located. Some popular retreat locations around the country include:

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Napa Valley, CA
  • Zion National Park, UT
  • The Poconos, PA
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Nashville, TN
  • Austin, TX
  • Denver, CO

Staff Retreat Discussion Topics

When planning your unique retreat ideas, it’s always important to know what you want to discuss. Take what has and hasn’t been going well at the office and the theme or goal of the retreat into consideration. Some discussion topics you might want to include at your retreat are as follows.

Working Better Together

Teamwork plays an immense role in your company. Without your employees being able to work well together, it can interrupt productivity, efficiency, and even profit. Bringing up topics to discuss like, “How do we work our best together?” and “Where can we use more teamwork?” are important to both your employees and your company’s overall function.

What’s Not Working

Constructive conversation is the key to balance in the workplace. When an employee feels like they can’t discuss if something isn’t working for them or is bothering them, it can have a massive ripple effect. From poor attitudes in the workplace to old rules that might need some re-thinking, having a discussion with your employees about what needs to be worked on is crucial.
What Can We Improve

What Can We Improve

After opening up a discussion to the group about what may not be working, it’s important to then ask how they feel it can be improved. This topic is crucial; it’s one thing to hear out the concerns of your staff but to actually do something about it is what changes everything. Some issues can be worked out between employees, some issues are as simple as needing some new equipment, and some issues might be more difficult to fix. What’s important is that your staff is comfortable enough at the retreat to talk together about what they can all collectively improve.

Planning a Corporate Retreat

When it comes down to it, there is no way to plan the “perfect” retreat. Nevertheless, you can pick a great location, plan some fun activities, and help your staff to enjoy themselves. A company retreat is the best way to help your staff get recentered back with work while also giving them a much-needed break.

Sources:

Sources:
1 Harari, O. (1995, June). Before your next company retreat, read this! Management Review, 84 (6), 49+. Retrieved June 2, 2022, from https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A17004433/AONE?u=anon~c937edcd&sid=googleScholar&xid=7ea07248
2 Kozlowski, S. W. J., & Ilgen, D. R. (2006). Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 7 (3), 77–124.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1529-1006.2006.00030
3 Patel, S., O’Brien, B. C., Dulay, M., Earnest, G. Shunk, R. L. (2018). Team Retreats for Interprofessional Trainees and Clinic Staff: Accelerating the Development of High-Functioning Teams. MedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources, 14, 10786.https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10786
4 Largo-Wight, E., Chen, W. W., Dodd, V. Weiler, R. (2011). Healthy workplaces: the effects of nature contact at work on employee stress and health. Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974), 126 Suppl 1 (Suppl 1), 124–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/00333549111260S116
5 El-Said, Osman. (2014). Impacts of Workplace Relationships on Employees’ Perceptions of Productive Work Environment. Conference: EuroCHRIE Dubai Conference Proceedings, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Retrieved June 2, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281280173_Impacts_of_Workplace_Relationships_on_Employees%27_Perceptions_of_Productive_Work_Environment.


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