Taking your team on a work retreat is a great way to regroup and socialize with one another in a new setting designed to bring out the best in your staff. And there’s plenty of great reasons you should consider a work retreat of your own. For starters, sometimes it helps to change your environment to allow the ideation of new strategies and concepts to take form. A simple weekend retreat can help teams recharge. And the best work retreats are a healthy combination of leisure and work activities, and leave your staff feeling rejuvenated and confident about the brand and the role they play in it.
To ensure you have a successful event, here are a few good tips for setting up a good work retreat:
Make Sure Everyone is Available
One of the early challenges of setting up a stellar work retreat is ensuring that everyone on your team can actually attend. If you’re managing various employee schedules with a basic collaborative Google calendar, things can get confusing pretty quickly. To make the planning process as seamless as possible, take advantage of absence management software. After you’ve checked everyone’s schedule, send your team a memo about potential retreat dates, even if it hasn’t been finalized. This will help put it on their radar.
Start Building Your Agenda
Before you even begin putting the pieces of your work retreat together, it’s important to think about your goals and objectives. Do you want to brainstorm ideas for a product launch? Help bring your team closer together? Create an effective customer service strategy? Think about what’s the most important goal for your company, and then branch out on ideas for agenda that involve meeting that goal. Once you understand what your objective is and how your agenda can meet your goals, you can start considering how your retreat can meet those needs.
Choose the Best Location
The location of your work retreat can make or break your experience. If you’ll be having some presentations, for example, then you’ll need a location that supports your ability to do this. If you want to emphasize physical activity at your retreat, you should choose a spot that allows you the ability to do this, like a ski resort or a lakeside lodge.
Think About Your Budget
One of the biggest hurdles of putting together the perfect work retreat is working with your budget. Most businesses, especially startups and small businesses, don’t have the budget to pay for a swanky hotel with a spa and indoor pool. Believe it or not, you can make it happen even on a tight budget.
One of the first things you should know is that when you’re with a group of people, you can negotiate the price and ask for group discounts. These prices won’t be readily available on all websites, and even when they are, you’ll find that many companies are willing to work with you on a package deal. Additionally, you don’t always have to have an entire experience curated. For instance, maybe instead of planning catered lunches and restaurant outings, you can invest in a cabin getaway, where everyone pitches in to create meals each day—which can be a team activity on its own.
Talk to Your Team
It’s important to allow your team to feel as involved in the creative planning process as possible. While you may not be able to satisfy everyone, getting others involved can not only help you plan the best retreat possible, but get as close as you can to meeting everyone’s ideal expectations.
There are several ways you can approach this. You can conduct a team-wide meeting if your staff is small enough. Or, you can send out an email and allow employees to vote on different areas. Be sure to consider various allergy and diet restrictions when making final plans.
Have All the Necessary Preparations
Every work retreat requires thorough preparation, and the level of preparation depends on the complexity of the event. For instance, let’s say you own a lifestyle e-commerce business and want to choose a beach retreat. In this case, you might use your own surf boards and wetsuits. For storage solutions, you could look into shipping containers for sale, which meet requirements for product, and also allow you store items safely for future various events. Or, you might have an extra office, bedroom, or personal storage unit you can place all your work retreat belongings in.
Gather Some Inspiration
If you’re planning a work retreat for the first time, it helps to gather some much-needed inspiration. One of the best ways to do this is by looking at other brands who have thrown successful work retreat events. You’ll notice that some of the best retreats hire outside speakers and leaders who can come in and help motivate your team towards your goals. To start, here are a few corporate retreat ideas. As you go through each idea, let it be the foundation for researching additional ideas from there.