10 Considerations for a Yearly Corporate Retreat
Companies are only as strong as their internal teams. Annual company trips can save the day when employees aren’t feeling their best due to burnout or a lack of training.
Employers should consider these factors when planning a yearly corporate retreat to create an experience that helps everyone recharge and reflect before returning home.
1. Pick a Stress-Free Destination
Helping team members release their stress is the primary benefit of corporate retreats. Everyone travels to a relaxing destination without worrying about planning or paying for anything. It’s an essential factor employers might forget if they prioritize training sessions over relaxation during these trips.
Recent research shows that 36% of full- and part-time employees feel a moderate level of burnout, while 15% and 8% are experiencing high and very high levels, respectively. Building anxiety and stress could cause team members to seek employment elsewhere or struggle to reach the same productivity levels as before if the burnout lingers.
Create an engaging and memorable trip by choosing a stress-free destination for each year’s retreat. Beachfront getaways, quiet cabins in the mountains or luxury resorts are excellent options to consider when starting the planning process.
2. Create Team Bonding Activities
After everyone can catch their breath and relax, they’ll feel more prepared for team-focused activities. Bonding opportunities will strengthen employee connections by making positive memories unrelated to workplace responsibilities.
Consider selecting or creating team activities before the retreat begins. Employees might enjoy planned events like:
- Scavenger hunts
- Trivia nights
- Art classes
- Mini golf games
- Waterfront activities like kayaking
Businesses with good morale typically have 20% better performance than competitors. Spending some retreat time on fun games or events will help everyone bond, creating the morale workers need to succeed.
3. Design Branded Materials
People walk into a party expecting to see decorations like streamers and balloons. Without this decor, the space would feel like any other room. Company retreats need the same decorative touches.
Marketing teams can assist with creating branded materials for activities and decor. Utilize them to emphasize the company’s values, vision or mission. Banners, posters, signs and more will highlight the retreat’s purpose.
4. Consider Learning Opportunities
Gathering everyone for learning opportunities is the second most important reason to host yearly corporate retreats. Team members could complete annual refresher training or attend new courses to improve workplace skills.
Some learning opportunities could also focus on enhancing an attendee’s retreat experience. A beachfront class might teach everyone how to break the ice with jokes or conversation starters so the remaining portion of the getaway doesn’t feel as tense for introverted employees. It depends on what the planners and leadership team want to focus on during this year’s trip.
5. Discuss Potential Projects
After people feel their stress slip away during the first day or two, they may feel more energized to work on projects. Part of the retreat could feature time for each team to connect on whatever they worked on before the getaway.
Less stress makes it easier for people to focus. Researchers found that when people deal with continually high stress levels, their metacognition fractures due to cortisol’s inflammatory effects on their nervous system. It may be easier for employees to concentrate and problem-solve in an environment that fights stress for them.
6. Enforce Relaxation Hours
Although team members may take advantage of assigned work periods during a corporate retreat, it’s equally crucial for workplace leaders to enforce relaxation hours. People may get caught up in looming deadlines or endless emails and begin to feel like they’re back in the office. Managers must stress the importance of unplugging after assigned work periods, especially if they push their team members to maintain workplace productivity standards.
Ensure everyone stops working to prioritize relaxation while they’re away from home. This might mean penalizing any leaders working after those sessions or communicating with team members about what they must do after returning to the office. Sometimes supervision within leadership teams is necessary to keep the retreat relaxing.
7. Provide Entertainment Options
Retreat attendees will want things to do when not in training classes, work periods or meetings. They won’t have a part in planning the retreat, so they may not know about the fun things to do around their destination.
Leadership should provide entertainment options through brochures, informative emails or flyers. Attendees who know about local shows or tourist attractions will likely have more fun by leaving the hotel or resort.
Larger companies may also invite entertainers to perform where everyone’s staying. A dinner and dance party with a roster of famous musicians might be more exciting than a flier mentioning concerts nearby. It would also reduce how much everyone needs to travel if some of the retreat fun happens at the hospitality arrangement.
8. Connect With Similar Companies
Some corporate retreats bring industry experts together. Retreat planners should consider whether their team members would benefit from connecting with others in the same sector. Inviting similar companies to attend a retreat could amplify the information and usefulness of training sessions. Employees would also develop personal connections that make their careers more fulfilling.
9. Celebrate Employee Accomplishments
People divide their time in the workplace among their never-ending responsibilities. Although that’s essential to make a company function, it leaves few opportunities for recognizing employee achievements.
Celebrating minor and major accomplishments is a vital part of helping teams thrive. Authentic recognition reduces employee turnover and minimizes burnout symptoms. People enjoy being recognized for their hard work and feel more loyal to their company when that acknowledgment happens regularly.
Leave time for an awards ceremony during each yearly corporate retreat. Presenting employees with custom trophies or prizes for things like dedication, growth, kindness and team appreciation will make people excited to attend the retreat. It may also help people return to the workplace with more energy because they know their employer doesn’t take their hard work for granted.
10. Remove Any Financial Stressors
Retreats are great experiences but can become an extra stressor if attendees must cover significant financial costs. Retreat teams should plan their experiences based on what the company can cover. People will be excited to attend if the company pays for plane tickets, hotel rooms, food and other travel expenses.
Reimbursement is also possible, although people would need to pay for everything upfront and may not have the financial means to do so. Providing a one-time stipend or pre-paying before the retreat makes the experience accessible to workers at all levels of the organization.
Plan an Incredible Corporate Retreat
Annual corporate trips are excellent opportunities for team members to recharge and reflect. They’ll return to the workplace with more energy, focus and company pride if the getaway is successful. Remembering tips like these will make planning a retreat more straightforward and foster more bonding opportunities that bring everyone together.