How to plan a great corporate retreat

image-corporateCorporate retreats usually happen about once a year, in a location away from the office, aimed at achieving specific goals and bringing your team together. However, they can often be stuffy, boring, and overall unproductive. So if you are planning on having a corporate retreat, here are some tips on how to make it productive, fun, and effective.

1. Have specific goals to accomplish. Make sure the retreat has an end goal, whether it be to finish a big project or to launch a new business idea, you need your employees to know why they are there. Too many corporate retreats happen without a finite conclusion and employees can leave feeling like they wasted their time.

2. Plan to have a facilitator. You need someone who will make sure things happen on time, as well as end on time. This person will help with the logistics, making sure your employees know where they are staying and where the meetings will be held. If things happen smoothly and on time, the retreat much more enjoyable.  You can appoint someone within the company to do this or hire a professional facilitator, the later being more expensive but more reliable.

3. Choose a location. Depending on your budget, you can hold a retreat in a variety of different places. For a smaller company on a tighter budget, try renting out a vacation home. Places such as rent out these homes in a variety of places at reasonable prices. If you are a larger company with a big budget, look at nearby resorts. Oftentimes these resorts will have corporate packages that give you a set price for rooms, food, and conference rooms.

4. Use your time wisely. You might feel like you have tons of time to accomplish everything you set out to because a retreat is longer than a normal meeting. However, if you don’t use your time effectively, you could end up leaving the retreat and not getting anything done. Have specific times for meeting and specific times for relaxing and mingling.

5. Encourage participation and collaboration.  A retreat is a great way for employees to collaborate on ideas and projects. Try splitting everyone into groups for part of the retreat and then bringing everyone back together to share ideas.