The complete guide to corporate retreats 2023: what they are and how to organize them05/10/2022
Corporate retreats are organized trips with one goal: bringing together people who work in the same company but in different locations or not necessarily in close contact. They have become popular again in recent years after the introduction of smart working changed work habits for many companies. What are the goals of these retreats?
- To improve relationship and communication among colleagues
- Bringing together people who work remotely to bond
- Share mutual feedback and resolve tensions between members of the same team
- Identify problems and malfunctions in the company and work together to solve them
- Propose new ideas that can benefit the company
- Learning to collaborate outside of work to strengthen teamwork
Company retreats can be of different types:
- Off site: when a retreat is organized in a place outside the company, usually with the purpose of doing team building activities
- On site: when employees working remotely (or at other locations) gather at the headquarter office for training activities.
How to organize an off-site corporate retreat?
- The purpose
The very first thing to consider is to decide what the purpose of the retreat is. What do you want to get out of this retreat? What will participants bring home from this experience?
The very first thing to consider is to decide what the purpose of the retreat is. What do you want to get out of this retreat? What will participants bring home from this experience? A clear purpose will help you plan more easily how you want the retreat to evolve. However, if you don’t have a clear idea, here you have some of the most common motivations into reality:
- Is there an underlying problem in the company that needs to be solved? Are workflows not working as they should? One idea might be to focus the retreat on developing some new feature and see how all the departments, and therefore the various employees, interface with each other.
- Is there an inclusiveness issue that needs to be improved? A retreat might be the right option to instill confidence in your employees.
- Do you want to help your employees improve in their assignments or assess who deserves to get promoted? This can be a good opportunity to assess everyone’s abilities. Similarly, you can work with people within the same department to develop everyone’s skills.
- Do you simply want to celebrate with your employees their achievements and spread positive energy within your team?
Basically, the motivations could be endless but the most common reason remains the need to come together to create those conditions that are not possible remotely.
Several types of expenses must be taken into account when organizing such a retreat:
- transportation costs
- accommodation costs
- costs and organization of meals
- costs for group activities
A few choices can be made based on business needs, but since this is a very expensive type of trip, there are different ways to control expenses, such as estimating:
- The type of location
- The type of facility
- Need for catering for breakfast or multiple meals
- Need to hire cars or transfer shuttles and in what amount
3. Location and duration
The ideal period of a retreat is between 3-5 days, although as a first step you must consider the availability and size of a company, as well as the purpose of each retreat. The ideal place is a facility that is in a location that is a meeting point between different offices (especially for those in different states), this will save you money and stressful travel for your employees. Of course, there is a need to take into account that the more employees you will have to bring together the more complex it will become to find a unique facility that accommodates many people, in fact, for this reason villas are sometimes rented because all employees can stay and you can organize all the activities inside.
- Structure of the retreat
What are the aspects to keep in mind when organizing a retreat? Beyond all the activities that need to be organized and decided individually, here are a number of aspects that can be helpful in organizing your retreat:
- Take into account the needs of each individual employee. Both for a nutritional side but especially for an emotional one: not everyone is predisposed to this type of activity, the most introverted will tend to isolate themselves so it is good to take into account every variable.
- Presentation of activities in advance. The presentation of the retreat activities will help people get organized in the best possible way on a practical level but also on a psychological level.
- Organization of activities. The activities must be precisely paced and will take up most of the day, but employees will also need the opportunity to have time to themselves in case they feel a little overwhelmed. In this way people will be free to make friends in an even more “natural” way.
- Feedback. Make time at the end of the retreat to receive feedback or clarify any concerns employees may have about the activities done.
There are several team-building activities that you can do. For example, you can consider activities that help your employees work as a team, exercises in communication, problem solving or trust building. Discussion or brainstorming time on business problems and activities can also be included.
How does BizAway help you organize corporate retreats?
As we have seen, corporate retreats are a type of travel that can be very complex because of the many expenses and factors that influence the organization of this kind of trips (especially if there are many employees involved) This is where BizAway, the tech platform that deals with business travel but also with the organization of complex and group travel, comes in! (find out more here)
Specifically, BizAway helps you with:
- Customized quotations and solutions based on every need
- Special requests of any kind (organization of activities, group activity experts, excursions, guided tours, etc.)
- Special transportation reservations (buses, transfer shuttles, ferries, etc.)
- Combination of various services (flight+train, flight+coach, etc.)
- Handling of emergencies (such as delays)
- 24/7 support service available
- Invoicing and final financial statements
With our many suppliers, we offer you favorable prices, cancellation policies, and flexibility. In addition, our specialized team will take care of all the special requests necessary for organizing your retreat and handling emergencies.
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