Top 10 tips for planning a productive corporate retreat

Despite what you may have heard, corporate retreats are not just for enhancing work relationships and team building, they can be helpful in improving the overall morale of your workers, chart out functional line of actions that can create an enabling work environment to stimulate the performance of your team.

Irrespective of your budget, you can plan the best corporate retreat by finding the perfect blend of fun, team building activities and motivation.

Research shows that happier staffs form a more productive work force. As a part of your retreat, organize fun games that could lend your team a fresh perspective and help in evolving together.

Below are 10 tips to help you plan the ideal corporate retreat by introducing new team building and leisure activities that are productive, memorable and most importantly fun.

  1. Be certain of the primary goal of the retreat:

Understand the motivation behind the retreat before planning. Is there a need for cohesiveness, has the team lost its morale boost or are there special knowledge and skills, you will like to inject into the system. Knowing the overall aim of the retreat and keeping the goal in mind is the foundation to planning the perfect corperate retreat.

  1. Prepare before setting out:

Research and find the best areas to visit, fun excursions, travel ideas and any events taking place that you could explore before you go so that there are plenty of options available for the participants.

Come up with games that both the introverts and extroverts on your team can enjoy, so no one feels left out. You can organize silent games, where people only get to write out answers rather that speaking out. This way several people will be much more comfortable with the prospect of going for the retreat.

  1. Appoint a skilled facilitator:

For proper execution, hire a skilled facilitator that has expert knowledge and experience dealing with larger groups. Having the right facilitator is probably the biggest single step you can take to getting the most from the retreat. Take time out to ensure that the facilitator is well briefed and works with you beforehand to ensure they understand the background, issues and aims of the retreat.

  1. Opt for a scenic location:

When planning a retreat, choose a scenic destination and a location that offers a lot of free activities such as boating, hiking, diving and snorkelling. The ambiance and these activities will promote creativity and wellbeing at the least possible cost.

  1. Pick a facilitating venue

Try to opt for hotels or accommodation like Oriental hotel Lagos or Protea Hotel Ikeja that have board or meeting rooms because although you won’t spend all your time in them you need a traditional working place to distinguish the fun of the retreat with the nitty gritty work. Sitting outside and working are fun but sometimes you need to sit down with ergonomic table and chairs to fully focus. Choose rooms that are spacious and have natural daylight and quirky features if possible though – not a cramped, white-walled, uninspiring environment.

  1. Don’t tie your retreats to performance:

Corporate retreats should not be linked to performance targets, and they shouldn’t serve as incentive trips for the ace performing staffs only. Ensure that the retreat accommodates and improves everyone and their relationships within the organization.

  1. Keep titles out the door:

Going away with your boss and superiors can be intimidating, as several members of staffs can become uptight and less open to any active involvement during the retreat. So ensure all attendees leave their work title out of the door, so that everyone can enjoy the time out and relax.

  1. Enusre key players attend:

When planning a retreat, decide on your attendee list and ensure that top ranking office members or key players on your work force are invited. This will encourage the turnout and increase the chances of having team members act more inclusive in the program organized.

  1. Opt for a cheaper alternative:

As much as corporate retreat are necessary, they tend to consume plenty of funds. If your organization can’t afford to plan a retreat, you can opt for a cheaper alternative like scheduling some time off, allowing the team work from a new locations, organizing team building exercises or taking fun office excursions within your city.

  1. Organise a follow-up

Shortly after the retreat organize a follow up meeting or send an email detailing things achieved, issues raised and where the team is headed from then on, to ensure everyone is on the same page. Having a follow up is also a great way to keep records, track progress and use such information at the next retreat to refresh and compare progress.



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