If you’re new to the entrepreneurial game but find yourself hiring staff for your business venture, the chances are that a company retreat style activity probably isn’t high up on your list of things to do. However, when interviewing potential candidates, you may be asked about the sort of team building away days you organize. This is why it’s always a good idea to have a few ideas in your armory. Company retreats range from the sedate and analytical, closely aligned with work, to the more informal, leisure driven to get to know colleagues and have some fun.
In truth, the best sort of company retreats are those that find some sort of balance. It’s great, as an employer, to be able to get to know your team but at the same time you need to maintain a professional distance. You will always be looking at the character and personality of your staff team, looking into their capabilities to lead and work well in a team. Take a look at this guide to help you plan your next company retreat.
Mastering The Art Of Communication
An away day of any sort with your team is a great way to banish the emails, say goodbye to Skype, and bid adieu to the telephone in order to partake in some revolutionary face to face conversation. The art of face to face discussion is often lost in the corporate world so it’s great to spend some time in a different environment getting your staff to chat, discuss ideas and work towards a common goal. You can use your company retreat as a chance to redesign your business vision. Being away from the office makes people feel more relaxed. The environment may be more dynamic, more comfortable and less formal. No one will be wearing their shirts and ties, and instead, they’ll be living it up in jeans and their favorite designer tee shirt.
This is also a great chance to set some objectives as a team. Rather than barking orders, you can work with your staff to set targets, shape the vision and create an ethos for back in the office. This shows your team that you appreciate their input and that you listen to their ideas. This, in turn, boosts morale and makes your team more productive.
Everyone needs food and shelter so these need to be your two biggest considerations at your away days. When considering company retreat meal planning you need to take note of dietary requirements, allergies, vegan or vegetarian diners, and those with specific meal plans. Don’t go cheap and buy in the lowest quality meals from the cheapest caterers. Instead, show your staff the respect they deserve and opt for some delicious grub to keep them satisfied. Go healthy, but a tad indulgent. Ensure that each staff member has plenty of choice at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When it comes to accommodation, most company retreats have individual rooms with private bathrooms. Many adventure parks, spas and team building retreats specialize in catering for the corporate party, and will have accommodation marketed towards your sort of trip. There will be retreats and accommodation for all sorts of budget. Make sure you spend as much as you can afford to ensure that your team get a good night’s sleep.
You may find that the individual who is often quiet back in the office suddenly comes out of their shell. This is because they are in a new environment and they feel more free to throw caution to the wind. Making sure there is structure means your time will be spent efficiently, but allowing free time for those water cooler moments can also help your team to unleash their creativity.
You need to create a forum where your staff feel comfortable airing their views and opinions. If you never act upon their ideas, then they won’t contribute. As such, make it a point of business to draw up notes of their plans and ideas. Namecheck them and give praise to those ideas that you think are particularly noteworthy. By showing respect and appreciation, you are demonstrating to your team just how valuable they are to you. This makes your team care more about their work and buy into your business vision. This, again makes your team more productive.
You should never underestimate the power of a company retreat or an away day. These overnight off site activities can be fun but also hugely beneficial at boosting staff morale, maintaining productivity and shaping your business for the future.