Company retreats have become so commonplace in today’s corporate age, one might imagine that they’ve been perfected by now. Given how crucial these getaways can be to the morale and overall effectiveness of your workforce, it stands to reason that today’s managers and business owners can’t afford to drop the ball when it comes to these retreats. Nonetheless, countless business professionals in today’s day and age are struggling to run an effective retreat, and don’t know where to turn to for advice.
Here’s everything you need to know about running an effective company retreat, some stellar examples you should study, and the crucial mistakes you’ll need to learn to avoid if you don’t want your weekend getaway ending in disaster or embarrassment.
It’s all about your employees
Far too often, higher ups in the corporate food chain forget that the purpose of any effective company retreat is to reinvigorate your employees with the commitment and zeal they’ll need to remain competent after a grinding period of tough work. These days, company retreats are often viewed as exclusive matters that should be made available to senior workers only, and few, if any, business leaders are paying enough attention to their employees on these retreats. If you want your company-wide getaway to be a success, you need to understand from the get-go that this needs to be a worker-centric experience from start to finish.
If you don’t take certain specific steps to make your company retreat as engaging as possible, you’ll soon find the attention of your employees drifting away to other things. It’s not uncommon for leaders on these retreats to address on audience, only to find most of them paying more attention to their smartphones or to small side conversations than the main event itself. If you want to avoid having a lackluster retreat that fails to garner impressive engagement, consider some strict electronic policies that will ensure employees aren’t browsing the web when they should be discussing and engaging with one another.
Even more important than this, however, is picking an ideal location that will entice your workers, so that they look forward to the retreat rather than dread it as a corporate chore. Check out some of the hottest locations for corporate retreats in recent memories, and you can be inspired to pick the right spot that will have your workers straining at the leash to take off and begin the retreat. The greatest resort in the world can’t make your retreat effective, however, if it’s being run into the ground by those who should be displaying leadership and initiative.
For instance, if your leadership team fails to clarify what the objective of your retreat is from day one, your workers will be aimlessly wandering the wilderness, with much of the retreat’s lessons going in one ear and escaping out the other. Clear scheduling, a well-established hierarchy, and extensive communication is needed to make sure that everyone stays on the same track. Consider circulating an agenda well ahead of time to guarantee that all of your employees know what to expect before they show up to the retreat.
Don’t let it go to your head
Too many retreat leaders seem to think that just because they’re off-site, they can start slacking on the rules or changing their expectations. If you take a glimpse at some of the biggest mistakes made by corporate leaders at off-site meetings, you’ll soon discover that they often lose the forest for the trees, and fail to establish a clear agenda, instead only confusing their workers. Whatever else happens, don’t let the fact that you’re on a lovely retreat get to your head, and remember that you need to stay focused in order to effectively teach your employees new skills.
It’s also crucial that you don’t make your retreat so exclusive that some of your employees can’t make it. Make it somewhere accessible, using as Niagara Falls, which you can book using a Niagara Falls tours company. It’s imperative that a cost-effective solution is chosen so that your company can foot the majority of the bill, as exclusionary retreats are only going to hamper your company’s development in the future. Nonetheless, some workers simply won’t be able to make it; that’s why it’s imperative you check out virtual retreat strategies, as you can still include those who can’t attend in-person thanks to the magic of modern tech.
Don’t become too dependent on tech, however; after all, the purpose of your retreat is to get some intimate face-to-face time with your workers, and it’s supposed to be a bonding, human-centric experience, not a hyper-tech mediated call. Employ tech sparingly when you can afford to do so, and your retreat will be much more personal. Above all else, don’t forget to foster a jovial atmosphere; the most effective company retreats are those which are relaxing and fun for everyone, from the CEO down to the newest recruit.