The thought of having to attend yet another corporate retreat can leave employees feeling uninspired, and in some cases, it may even cause dread and annoyance towards the upcoming trip. Although the value these events can have is easily understood among corporate employees, many people are busier than ever these days with obligations outside of work while others simply want their weekends to relax and refresh themselves for the coming work week.
It takes some thinking outside the box to make retreats feel less like something that employees need to grudgingly accept and more like adventures to be viewed with anticipation. It can be done though. Below are five corporate retreat ideas to provide you with inspiration for company retreats that stray from the beaten path.
A customized app allows you to provide attendees with an interactive experience. Apps containing detailed maps of the venue and a schedule of events help acclimate them to the venue environment. Including ice-breaking activities such as scavenger hunts and wine tastings at the beginning of the weekend gets everyone feeling comfortable and ready to tackle the rest of the weekend.
A sprinkling of lifestyle workshops and activities in the schedule is a nice gift to employees for giving up their weekends to attend the retreat. Popular ideas include yoga, tai chi, massage sessions, sustainability workshops, and short classes in preparing healthy lunches for the workplace. Breaking up the day with group walks helps people remain energized, particularly when the retreat is held in a venue with lots of natural beauty.
Corporate retreats are notorious for promoting engagement among employees, but the typical corporate planner often takes this too far and fails to consider the needs of the introverts in the group. Sensory overload is real and attendees who are less social than their extroverted counterparts struggle with the constant stimulation involved in company retreats. Introverts tend to suffer in silence in these situations because they realize that returning to their room for a few moments to recharge would likely be frowned upon.
A venue offering several quiet relaxing nooks and crannies that offer temporary sanctuaries allow attendees to access the downtime that they need will prevent anyone from becoming uncomfortably overwhelmed. It’s also wise to allow short breaks between activities rather than trying to pack as much into the schedule as possible.
Staff is often not 100% present at corporate retreats because it takes time away from their off-work hours with their families. Traditional thinking holds that families provide a distraction at these events, but 21st-century corporate culture is increasingly trending toward recognizing the needs of the whole person. Although families won’t be attending the presentations and team-building events, they can explore the area and get to know one another, which facilitates an extended family environment.
Because many modern families share their hearts and homes with canine companions, choosing a pet-friendly venue is advisable when inviting families to share in the fun. With families along, there will be someone to tend to the pet while the employees are busy with retreat activities. Dogs are a great ice-breaker as well and many lasting friendships have formed because of a mutually shared love of dogs.
Selecting a venue that excites and engages your staff is an excellent starting point for a productive and successful company retreat. Most retreats are held in the same general type of environment, such as sleek-but-forgettable convention halls and event centers. While these options certainly fulfill the basic requirements for a workable retreat, they tend to provide a bland experience. Less generic options include resort-style farms, weekend cruises, and all-inclusive recreational resorts.
Venues should also complement your corporate culture, so choose the type of place that the majority of the employees would select as personal vacation options. Company surveys provide an excellent way to tune in to the individual needs and preferences of the staff. Venues also have the potential to generate positive, lasting memories that strengthen the employee and corporate bond.
Part old-fashioned family farm and part luxury resort, Pursell Farms is an ideal destination for those seeking a quality out-of-the-box experience. From destination weddings to company retreats, from class or family reunions to a golf getaway with a group of friends – Pursell Farms provides a unique adventure designed to create lasting memories. Want to learn more about bringing your team to Pursell Farms? Request a proposal.
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