How to Plan a Work Retreat That Isn’t Terrible

Small Businessby Ariana Smith24 August 2018

Office work

The whole point of a work retreat is to get everyone out of the office, away from the humdrum of their daily routines, and into a scenario where they can learn something new. Whatever your goal – whether it’s team unity, leadership, updating everyone on company policy/procedures – you need to make the retreat exciting. At the very least, it needs to be the better alternative to a day at the office, and at its best, it needs to rival any personal vacation they might take. Here are a few steps you should take toward planning the perfect work retreat.

Plan Ahead :

Giving yourself ample time in the planning process allows for everything else on this list to be undertaken with care and consideration. As you’ll see, upon conceiving of the work retreat, you still need to create a budget, choose a location, plan for provisions and give everyone lots of notice to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Budget For Surprises :

You might need to order for certain dietary restrictions you hadn’t considered. The weather might push you out of your first activity, forcing you to pay for another activity. A delay in transport might lose you your deposit somewhere… who knows! When you’re making a company retreat budget, give yourself some buffer room in case things go wrong.

Don’t Ignore The Food :

You would be surprised how excited people get over free food – in terms of employee satisfaction it has to have the highest return on investment of pretty much anything. Don’t just give everyone those stale, quartered sandwiches, with some dry veggies and dip and call it a day. Put a little bit of consideration and imagination into the retreat food – it’s completely worth it.

Choose An Exciting Activity :

Instead of having everyone sit in a conference room (a room not unlike your office) and listen to a dry presentation about stats, do something exciting. After all, these retreats need to double as teambuilding excursions. Why not do something out there, like organize an ax-throwing party or have a company-wide cooking competition? They say “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”, so if you’re planning on making your retreat a learning experience, mix some fun in with it.

Give Lots Of Info Ahead Of Time :

This is straightforward: you want everyone to attend, and so choose a date as soon as possible. There might still be scheduling conflicts (vacation time booked months in advance, for instance), but you will have at least allowed everyone to prepare. Some employees might need to get a babysitter or make other special arrangements.

Define Your Goals :

Finally, ask yourself what this retreat is for. Write down your goals for the retreat, as this will help in both the planning and execution of the event. Just remember that if your goal is overly dry or didactic, mix in some fun.

A company retreat should never be met with moans and groans. Plan ahead, and pay close attention to what makes your employees happy, and you should pull off a successful company retreat that achieves your goals.

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Ariana Smith

Ariana Smith is a freelancer content writer and enthusiastic blogger. She is a regular contributor at The Daily Notes.

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