7 Secrets to Planning a Successful Corporate Retreat
A corporate retreat is a great way to achieve company cohesiveness and add a little extra "oomph" to what could be just another work day. Whether you need an executive brain storming retreat or are trying to improve staff communication, increase creativity and motivation, or just trying to make your company feel more like family, a retreat away from the office is the perfect answer. No matter where your company is located, there are plenty of retreat locations around the world to choose from. Whether you are looking for a retreat location that's around the corner or one that's light years away, here are some tips to make sure your retreat doesn't leave you longing for the boardroom.
- Perhaps the most important consideration is your goals for the retreat. Begin with a plan for what you want to accomplish. If work is foremost in your agenda, plan carefully to avoid your corporate retreat turning into nothing more than a free vacation for your employees.
- If your retreat is more about rewarding your valued staff, or you'd like to concentrate more on the morale of your company than keeping things "strictly business", then your plan - and perhaps your entire retreat - will be much different than one that concentrates more on work.
- Once you have an idea of the goals and wishes for your retreat, you can better choose your location. Consider a facility that breaks away from the cookie-cutter hotel and promotes a team building atmosphere. Balmy beaches and sun-kissed sand may be a great place for your employees to learn effective stress reduction, but the ocean crashing right outside the conference room door may not be so helpful when you're trying to meet hectic deadlines.
- When it comes time to choose your hotel or resort, don't rush into a decision. Anyone can make a brochure look marvelous. Instead, choose a facility that meets all your needs in terms of location, activities, amenities, cost, and, of course, availability. Don't be shy; ask for photos or testimonials if you'd like.
- What about the food? Before choosing a retreat location, ask about the food and be sure the retreat facility can meet any of your staff's dietary requirements. All inclusive corporate retreats take the hassle out of worrying about the food, just make sure the quality of the food is good. Good food actually helps keep all retreat attendees happy and positive. Be sure and send an email to all attendees to see if they have any dietary requirements, then send that to your retreat facility at least two weeks before your retreat.
- See if they have a dedicated event planner or if they rely on regular staff to handle your event. Someone who specializes in handling corporate events at a facility can often foresee needs you may not even realize you have and will be able to make your stay smooth and productive.
- Don't forget the fun! No matter what your goals for the retreat, be certain to allow for some downtime for you and your employees. Choose a location that is cohesive to natural team building. Too many distractions cause your team to loose focus in the meeting and to scatter after the meeting. Your agenda will determine how much you need to schedule and how much your staff will be able to entertain themselves, but be certain there are enough activities at your chosen location to keep them occupied and to encourage them to hang out together. This is a valuable natural team bonding experience that you just can't put a price on. A team building atmosphere encourages them naturally to work together and help each other.