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Planning a Company Retreat – The Ultimate Guide

Planning a company retreat brings tremendous benefits to your company. A corporate retreat gives your employees active opportunities to recharge, regroup, reflect, and bond in an informal setting. Additionally, organizing a company retreat helps boost motivation and helps colleagues become friends. Many organizations realize that planning a retreat for team building is a wise investment in the company.

However, planning a successful company retreat can be a daunting experience. For example, finding the right location, date, and who to invite can be stressful. Then there are questions regarding the budget, activities, and who to involve in planning.

Because of the enormity of the task involved, most large organizations use a trusted team building events company to plan the retreat. For example, Full Tilt Team Development has many years of experience organizing company retreats. In addition, our experienced facilitators can arrange off-site events anywhere in North America and beyond.

What are the benefits to your organization of planning an awesome company retreat? What is involved in ensuring the retreat meets your goals and strengthens company culture? This article answers these questions and more.

What is a Company Retreat?

A company retreat is an event organized away from the office to give employees ample opportunity to spend quality time together. The retreat typically involves fun team building activities, learning experiences, and downtime for socializing. The corporate retreat duration can last a day, a weekend, a week, or even longer.

How to Choose a Team Building Retreat Location

The first step in planning a company retreat is location. For example, the location should be accessible to the entire team. Therefore, to plan a retreat overseas, you must ensure everyone can enter the country. You must also consider factors like retreat goals, budget, and the time of year.

For example, many companies in North America like to plan team building retreats in winter, choosing warm locations like Florida, Hawaii, or southern California. This way, it’s possible to escape unpleasant cold, rainy weather and long dark nights.  Or you may want to choose a location like Charlotte, NC, for a team building and training retreat.

The Benefits of Planning a Company Retreat

A well-planned company retreat has many benefits for your long-term business goals. And it’s not just learning new skills or enjoying the team bonding experience that benefits large corporations. Planning a corporate retreat is a way to make employees feel appreciated and encourage empathy. The result is that everyone has greater drive and motivation.

Here is a list of a few benefits your company could experience by organizing a weekend retreat for team bonding:

Retain and attract the best talent: A company culture that includes regular retreats is an ideal selling point for recruiting the best employees.

Show your appreciation: According to studies, most workers quit their jobs if they feel disrespected or under-appreciated at work.

Company retreats increase productivity: Did you know that 76 percent of employees say they are more productive outside the office?

Connect remote employees: Team building retreats also help get remote team members together. This can encourage closer collaboration and help remote employees work more effectively.

Create bonding opportunities: Weekend company retreats allow colleagues to get to know each other better. This develops stronger empathy and creates a stronger bond.

Visit new inspiring places: Planning time away from the office in new destinations is perfect for everyone to recharge and refocus. You also create memorable events that will boost creativity in the workplace.

company retreat planning

How to Plan the Perfect Company Retreat For Your Employees

Planning the perfect company retreat for a day, weekend, or longer requires ample time and careful planning. First, you should have a specific goal in mind. Then, you must have a realistic budget, choose a location, and plan a series of fun activities to achieve your company goals.

Let’s look at the ten steps involved to ensure your company retreat is one to be remembered for the right reasons.

1. Define the company retreat goals

The first step in planning a corporate retreat to have a clear objective. Therefore, think about what you want to achieve. Then once you define your goals, write them down to create a plan of action. It’s also worthwhile brainstorming ideas with your team to organize a productive, enjoyable retreat.

Here are some worthwhile goals for a team building retreat:

  • Celebrate company success or achievements
  • Strengthen company culture
  • Focus on your organization’s goals and mission
  • Build relationships between various departments
  • Develop greater trust between team members

Although the retreat may have one primary goal, you can plan smaller events to achieve that. Therefore, get your team together to decide on activities, the retreat agenda, the target budget, and the outcomes.

2. Plan a company retreat during the slow season

When planning a company retreat between two and seven days, avoid scheduling it during your busy season. This is especially important if you want to avoid stressing your employees. Therefore, schedule a series of events for a retreat when you typically experience a slow period.

Planning a company retreat during the slow season ensures that everyone looks forward to it. Also, your team members will enjoy the break more if they don’t have to rush around trying to meet deadlines. The best length for a retreat is up to seven days. However, this depends on your budget, including flight costs and organizing a block of hotel rooms.

3. Get everyone involved from the start

Good cooperation with everyone involved is crucial to planning a successful company retreat. One of the mistakes in planning team building activities is not getting everyone involved from the start. This helps to ensure that the event has goals aligned with your team’s performance and objectives.

When organizing a retreat, make sure that team leaders and managers also attend. This is an excellent way to encourage employee engagement with the company’s goals and strategy. In addition, it also helps develop a greater understanding between management and subordinates and breaks down barriers.

Related reading: How to plan team building activities everyone will love.

4. Share responsibilities

Delegation is crucial when organizing effective team building events for a company retreat. Remember that planning an off-site corporate event can be more work than you think. Therefore, sharing the responsibility with others on your team is a good idea. Not every business has a full-time event organizer who can handle all the tasks.

Here are some of the responsibilities you can delegate:

  • Logistics and transportation
  • Coordination with the team building facilitator
  • Signage at the venue
  • Accommodation

5. Negotiate the pricing and have a budget

When organizing a company retreat, you want to get the best value for your money. Therefore, you need to consider several factors, such as the cost of the event, the number of people attending, the location, and the type of activities you plan. Then it will be necessary to work out a reasonable budget to plan the retreat.

The next stage is the arduous task of calling venues, arranging transportation, organizing accommodation and meals, and getting swag for team members. Because this is a large corporate event, you can often negotiate discounts to lower your costs.

how to plan a company retreat

On the other hand, you can entrust organizing a company event to the experts. For example, Full Tilt has some of the best connections with venues and logistic organizations in the country. We also know what it takes to organize large corporate retreats for between 10 and 500 participants.

You can check out our full list of team building activities to decide which are best for you.

6. Provide brainstorming team building exercises

Next in the company retreat planning process is to devise a schedule of diverse activities to accomplish your goals. For example, you could have outdoor scavenger hunts in a city of your choice to boost team collaboration. Or what about cooking classes to encourage time management and good communication skills?

Therefore, during the planning stage, give enough time to brainstorm ideas for your company retreat. As a result, you will be able to create a fun yet effective retreat that will help you achieve your goals and objectives.

7. Organize internal networking opportunities

One of the benefits of planning corporate retreats is that you can break out of departmental silos. A successful company must ensure that departments communicate effectively and work toward a common goal. In this respect, team building events on a retreat provide plenty of amazing opportunities to remove communication barriers between departments.

To develop internal networking opportunities, ensure that members from various departments participate in team events. This helps to create a strong company culture, keeps employees engaged, and develops understanding and bonds between departments.

8. Don’t overpack the agenda

Make sure that the company retreat isn’t packed with activities for the entire time, leaving participants without downtime. It’s a mistake to concentrate solely on productivity or cram as many events into a day — no matter how fun. Therefore, allow plenty of time for organic team building.

For example, having free time during the day allows team members to schedule time for their own activities — grabbing a coffee with a colleague, going for a meal in a restaurant, or even having a nice walk with newly-found friends.

9. Organize swag for team members

Don’t forget to include company swag when planning a retreat. You want the event to be memorable. And having company-branded items to give out is one way to achieve this. For example, you could include branded drinkware, custom tote bags or backpacks, or items of clothing.

Are you planning a company retreat that involves travel? If so, giving everyone a pack of travel essentials and a city guide can generate a lot of excitement.

10. Work with an expert facilitator to plan and run a company retreat

Hiring a professional facilitator is the best way to make sure your team gets the most out of a retreat. An expert facilitator knows how to run effective workshops, team building activities, and meetings. They know how to guide large groups of employees toward solutions, tease out the pain points, and deal with conflicts.

planning company retreat

Apart from making it easier to organize an effective retreat, there is another reason for hiring a seasoned facilitator. Team members are usually more likely to participate in events because they can be more open with strangers. Also, barriers disappear when team leaders and members participate in the same events.

Full Tilt Can Help Plan Your Next Company Retreat

Planning an annual company retreat has tremendous benefits for your organization, whether large or small. Retreats for team building allow you to strengthen company culture, encourage teamwork, boost team morale, improve employee engagement, and revitalize your employees.

Are you considering planning an unforgettable company retreat to benefit your employees? If so, please contact Full Tilt today at 310-400-6285 or by using this online form. A member of our experienced facilitators can help arrange a retreat to help fulfill your company goals.

We offer custom-designed retreats that are tailored specifically for your needs and budget. Our programs are designed to provide an opportunity to learn new skills, develop leadership abilities, increase self-confidence, build relationships, and improve communication skills.