If you’ve ever been on the “team-building” side of a retreat, you know the dread those words can bring to introverts and extroverts alike. A well-planned retreat can turn even the most anti-team player into a loyal employee, while a poorly designed company retreat is simply a waste of funds. You want to ensure your company’s getaway falls into the first category, but how?
The good news is that you’re aware of the nightmare these planned retreats can be, and you’re out to avoid those pitfalls. You’re in charge of planning, so you can use this time to create enjoyable, memorable team-building experiences with which everyone will have fun. Avoid the cliches and try these four company retreat ideas your team is sure to love.
1. Explore a City Together
Is there a convention coming up that your team would benefit from attending? Or a city you know many of your staff would love to visit that also happens to be known as a top corporate retreat? Make it a company getaway, and explore the area together.
If you’re starting from scratch with no particular destination, get staff buy-in by sending out a survey with a few potential cities. When you’ve collected the results, tally them up and determine the winning place.
Then, announce the winner. Consider consoling those who weren’t thrilled by the results by suggesting that if this retreat goes well, the next one may be held at one of the runner-ups. Finally, choose a hotel and search the area for walkable (or via Segway) ways to explore the area. Make an itinerary that you can all do together.
2. Inter- and Intra-Team Meals
Employee time on the job is supposed to be spent, well, working. Some coworkers naturally connect with each other, but for the most part, your team only knows each other in a work role, especially if the job is remote. Use the company retreat time to let them get to know their personal sides.
Carve out a designed meal time for teams to dine together, and talk about their thoughts and ideas for the company and their lives. It helps to assign one person as the moderator and give them topic ideas to start the conversation if it becomes necessary.
Next, do the same thing for inter-departmental discussions. Mix the teams up, sit them around a dinner table, and encourage communication. It’s a great way for different areas of your company to see how what they do plays a role in the jobs of others.
3. Get Active
If your team is full of able-bodied people, physical activities are a good choice for a company retreat. Sure, this could be something like your old-fashioned Tug-of-War and obstacle course activities. Or, you could think outside of the box.
These activities are excellent for company retreats and are sure to please (most) everyone:
- Horseback riding
- Beach Yoga
- Surf lessons
- Mountain or canyon hiking
- Exploring national parks by foot
- City-wide scavenger hunts
Being active in enjoyable ways boosts blood flow and endorphins, and the time you spend together builds bonds and unforgettable memories.
4. Engage in Creative Thinking
Not everyone can handle the physical activity of horseback riding and mountain hiking. But creative thinking is another smart way to build team morale and connections.
Creativity is found in a wide spectrum of activities. Depending on where your retreat is, you could set your team up with events like:
- A cooking class
- An art class (many offer wine and snacks alongside the art lesson)
- Escape rooms
- Trivia nights
- Meditation lessons
- Soft skill lessons (mastering the art of body language, communication, leadership, etc.)
- Gardening (you might be surprised to learn that gardening is an amazing way to foster creativity)
- Board games
Remember, it’s okay to push your team just outside of their comfort zones. The better you know everyone, the easier it will be to judge where this line is, and choose creative activities that they’ll enjoy.
Ultimately, the best way to design a corporate retreat is to include a blend of fun, strategy, and communication, which is why your focus should be on avoiding solo activities.
Your goal should be to find ways for your team to work together to achieve a common goal. When this is done well, your retreat will be productive, memorable, and profitable.
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