How To Plan Your First Company Retreat

Company retreats provide opportunities for staff members to deeply connect, which can be pivotal for small or startup businesses. Not only can they improve communication and morale, but they can also be fun. Getting out of the office and into a new setting can create a fresh mindset and bring everyone together.

The success of a company retreat largely depends on careful planning because it establishes the foundation for the event and the activities that follow. These tips and tricks can help you plan an unforgettable company retreat.

Why Plan a Company Retreat?

Your first plan of action is to figure out the goal of your retreat and the motivations behind it. Perhaps your staff lacks a cohesive workflow, or you want to introduce a new product, service or skill. Regardless of the intentions for planning a retreat, having a clear goal in mind can create a solid foundation for planning the perfect retreat.

Employees can easily get caught up in their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, making them lose sight of the bigger picture. A company retreat could come as a breath of fresh air, allowing employees to escape their desk and communicate together over big-picture challenges and opportunities.

Pick the Ideal Timeframe

Finding a time each employee will agree on is nearly impossible. To amount the highest turnout, ask each employee about their availability and the number of days they could attend. A Google form is the best and most efficient way to record responses to these questions.

After narrowing down potential days, send out a calendar invite to gather an accurate headcount. Steer clear of holidays to avoid a large amount of declined RSVP’s.

Make Your Budget Work Harder

One of the main concerns for business owners when it comes to company retreats is cost. Factors such as hefty hotel fees and plane tickets don’t always have to be a concern. You can pick a location within driving distance, such as a nearby campground. Camping will give your staff a way to unwind and take a break from their typical day-to-day life while keeping costs relatively low. However, camping is not always an experience everyone enjoys. Luckily, you can put a positive spin on camping by going the glamping route.

Glamping allows for amenities such as deluxe cabins and yurts, clean and accessible bathrooms, heated blankets and gourmet s’mores.

Your budget will determine what ideas are possible for the retreat. Keep your budget realistic, but also have a buffer for unexpected expenses.

Include the following items in your budget:

  • Venue bookings – such as cabins or yurts
  • Food and beverages
  • Transportation to the venue
  • Activities you will do

Remove the Stress

The best company retreats have an agenda with various options that will cater to all employees. Keeping your original goals in mind will help you determine what events you want to schedule.

Some events you could include on your retreat agenda include:

  • Training and development
  • Business Sessions
  • Team Building Activities
  • Coaching and Consulting
  • Family-Style Meals
  • Free Time

Out of This World Activities

Keep the diversity of your group in mind – everyone has different personalities and skill levels. Cater to everyone by providing various team-building activities, such as.

  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Paintball
  • Minute to Win It Games
  • Team Olympics
  • Board Games
  • Comedy Event
  • Charades
  • Escape Rooms
  • Canoeing/Kayaking

If you are struggling to narrow down which activities you think your staff will enjoy, consider sending out an anonymous Google survey to see which events people gravitate toward. The survey responses will help ease the planning of your first retreat and ensure everyone will enjoy the activities.

Memories That Last a Lifetime

If you set goals and plan ahead, you will create a company retreat where your employees not only work hard but also have fun. Catering to your specific needs and following these tips will help you plan a company retreat your employees will look forward to year after year.

By: Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is a writer from Harrisburg PA. Find his work on Business Insider, Yahoo Autos, Time, INC, and more. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

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