Now that vaccinations for COVID-19 are more widely distributed and taken up, people are traveling more often again. This means that the company retreat is back. After many years of teams working either entirely or a lot from home, this event provides an excellent opportunity for workers to reconnect.
You want to be smart about planning your retreat, though, so you get the best bang for your buck and everyone’s time.
Set a Budget
Putting together a company retreat is costly since you have so many people to move, feed, accommodate, and otherwise pay for, not to mention the costs of things like hiring speakers, venues, and more. As such, even if you have a large company with significant resources, it’s wise to set a budget for the event.
You don’t want to overspend and then regret it later or have trouble justifying the costs to board members or other “higher-ups.” Create a budget based on the total amount you know the business can afford to spend on a retreat and that you feel will be worthwhile investing, and then work back from there to allocate funds to different facets of the occasion.
Determine Your Goals
It’s also vital to stop and think about precisely what you’re hoping to achieve from running a corporate event. Everyone’s goals vary considerably, but some of the most common are helping team members get to know each other and bond better, exchanging ideas between workers from diverse teams and locations, and motivating and inspiring employees.
You might want to run a retreat to reward people for fantastic results and all their dedication or help usher in a new way of doing things or a new direction for the business that you want staff members to hear about together. Perhaps you’re looking to give employees a change of scenery to encourage enhanced creativity and innovation, or you may want to strategize for the year ahead.
Once you’re clear on what you hope the event achieves for your team and your organization, you should find it easier to make appropriate decisions during your planning.
Allow Enough Time
Give yourself and whoever’s helping you plan the company retreat enough time to handle all the different aspects of creating a large event like this. There are many aspects to consider, such as the venue, food, transport, activities, timing, security, and more, so don’t rush the process. Doing so will make you more likely to miss essential things or make errors in judgment.
Also, keep in mind that you need to give all your employees plenty of notice about the dates of the retreat so they can schedule themselves appropriately. People have children, pets, partners, and other life commitments they need to tell and make plans for if they’re going to be away. Don’t stress workers out by dropping the news of a retreat on them at the last minute.
Get Employee Feedback
You might also want to chat with your employees to get some feedback on ideas for the company retreat. For example, you could poll workers about their preferences rather than taking a unilateral decision about the location and type of event. For instance, people might be keen to have a beachy break, head to the mountains, board a cruise, or attend a retreat in a city center. These locations will give retreats different vibes and affect the types of activities you can plan.
Don’t assume you know what popular choices among your staff will be, as workers may surprise you. It’s safer to ask for input early on so you don’t end up planning an event that people grudgingly go to rather than one they’re excited about.
Of course, a vital component of a company retreat is deciding which activities you will come up with for employees to engage in. You’ll want to have some mandatory elements and things that people can choose to attend or not. It’s best to try to have a mix of activities that involve options purely for fun, some for learning, and some for sharing, etc.
Be careful not to overschedule people, as you don’t want to wear your team out and reduce the effectiveness of the sessions where you really need everyone focused. Consider bringing in some speakers or other specialists to motivate, inspire, or train your workers or utilize on-site resources at the venue you pick.
Consider Other Practicalities
Other practicalities to consider include health, safety, and security. Avoid planning activities that could lead to your staff members hurting themselves and exposing your business to liability if anything happens to someone. Plus, you may need to take steps to guard the digital security of what’s covered at events to ensure information doesn’t get leaked.
Sometimes it’s necessary to bring in professional security guards such as Protos Security if you’ll have highly valuable stock or other business items on-site or have a CEO or high-profile guest speaker, etc., who require security wherever they go.
A corporate retreat can benefit an organization in many ways, but only if you get the logistics right and plan it out carefully. Think about the above elements as you organize your event this year or next.