Although corporate retreats have been around for years, they are once again becoming popular. A corporate retreat is an off-site excursion away from the everyday work schedule. Employees gather together to participate in activities and workshops intended to improve company morale and production.
This can include employees who work together in the office or remote team members. Basically, anyone who is involved with one company who strives to achieve the same goals should be invited.
If you’re planning a company retreat filled with fun activities to foster team building, you have made a great decision. Company retreats are one of the best ways to boost morale, strengthen connections, and improve culture. Some of the most popular and beneficial retreats are destination retreats. However, this requires extensive planning.
Whether you have a large group or a smaller team, it’s important to begin the retreat planning process well in advance. You should start planning all the details to ensure that your team-building experience is a success.
From selecting a retreat location to choosing team-building activities, each detail is important in planning a corporate retreat. We’ve created an 8-step guide to assist you in planning your corporate retreat.
1. Have a Purpose
Determining your retreat goals is essential in the overall planning process. The goals may include strengthening relationships, developing stronger bonds, or even resolving ongoing tension. Identifying what the company’s needs are and creating specific goals is astute planning.
Planning out these goals will be helpful in creating your corporate retreat. No matter what the overall purpose is, one of the goals should certainly be for everyone to enjoy themselves and have a fun time.
In the long run, the goals you set will improve morale, and the company will benefit from it because it provides an opportunity for employees to engage and grow.
2. Survey the Team
Hosting a corporate retreat can be a challenge. However, collecting input from your team members before the next company retreat is a great way to include everyone and gather recommendations.
You could create a survey or a preference sheet to gather new ideas, discover what food options most people enjoy, or find out what their favorite games are. To plan a proper corporate retreat, you must strive to make sure everyone is having a good time.
You may not be able to include every suggestion, but hopefully, by conducting a survey, you will be able to weed out what is not for everyone.
For example, you may have planned to schedule a lot of activities during the retreat, but after a survey, you may discover that most people want some free time to relax.
Either way, you will be able to compile any pros or cons ahead of time, and that should give you a nice foundation to work from.
Do not forget to request all information regarding food allergies or specific accommodation requests. Knowing this information ahead of time will be a tremendous help in the planning process.
3. Select the Right Retreat Venue
Location, location, location! It doesn’t pertain only to the purchase of real estate but also to retreat bookings. The venue can make or break a retreat, so selecting the best one to suit your company culture and the entire team is crucial.
When choosing a retreat venue in Costa Rica, it’s best to consider all aspects of your retreat’s theme. What are you trying to accomplish, and will this location be able to help me accomplish these goals?
It is important to consider how many team members will be a part of the retreat. This will help to determine which venue to book. If your next corporate retreat consists of large groups from several teams, you may want to consider booking an entire hotel.
If your group is made up of a smaller leadership team, you could book lodging at a smaller, more intimate venue. You will also have to determine if employees will have to share the same room or have their own.
Be sure to check out all the accommodations and amenities at each venue before you commit. Your retreat agenda may call for specifics like meeting rooms for certain team-building activities.
Or you may have a team member who has certain food allergies, so you must be sure the venue can accommodate them. It’s important to communicate with the venue and provide them with advanced notice of all your plans and specifications so the venue staff can accommodate your request.
4. Book Fun Activities and Excursions
Part of a successful and memorable retreat is the quality of the activities. Researching and booking the available activities ahead of time is a must. There are a variety of activities that can be done on-site and some that require travel. Be sure to book any appropriate transportation to activity sites as needed.
Some onsite activities might include a station to tie dye your own tee shirts. You could have special retreat t-shirts made ahead of time with the company’s logo, and everyone could make their own.
You could have fun with temporary tattoos, and have each team member sport one. You could book wine tastings or cooking classes. One popular activity is escape rooms. You could create teams to see which one can escape the fastest.
There are endless possibilities for planning excursions. Your group may be interested in nature and the outdoors. You could book nature hikes, beach excursions, or a yoga session.
Company retreats can be enjoyable to plan because you have a blank slate, and you build from it. Be sure to refer to any survey forms that you were able to obtain to see what most people would prefer for activities and excursions.
5. Play Games and Learn Company Goals
You cannot think of team building and corporate retreats without thinking of games! It’s safe to assume that each team member listed at least one game on their preference sheet. Planning a game night or two will be pivotal in making sure everyone has a fun team-building experience. Games can be easily incorporated into your corporate retreat itinerary.
Creating teams helps build bonds and foster sportsmanship within the company. You could create multiple small teams and play board games or cards.
Many people enjoy card games such as Poker or Texas Hold ‘Em. This could be intended as a laid-back activity, or you can make it more competitive by offering the winning team or teams a prize at the end.
When you plan your next retreat, don’t forget to plan the scavenger hunts. They are among the most requested and most popular retreat activities. You could create two or three teams to compete in the scavenger hunt.
By planning and creating the scavenger hunt yourself, you can take the time to tailor it to the group. You could consider a theme related to work or include funny topics or stories that everyone knows from the office. There could be an incentive to complete the hunt first with a prize at the end.
6. Don’t Forget Health and Wellness to Promote Team Bonding
One aspect to consider before outlining your corporate retreat schedule is to include health and wellness sessions. Many retreat locations offer meditation, yoga, and spa sessions. This is beneficial for your team members as mental and physical well-being play a huge role in productivity.
A more intimate yoga session may be something that your team hasn’t thought of, but it’s a great bonding experience. Becoming more grounded and vulnerable is a great opportunity to grow within yourself and as a team. It creates a great balance between the more physical activities and games.
Wellness can also include a nutrition aspect. Booking a nutrition workshop may be a way for your team to create goals to be healthier together through diet. You could also book a cooking lesson with a local chef. The chef can teach your team new cooking methods by using delicious, locally sourced ingredients.
7. The Itinerary and Unstructured Free Time
The itinerary is just as important as the planning. Planning and providing a clear, well-thought-out schedule is important for a corporate retreat. Your team will appreciate that someone carefully took the time to create the itinerary so they can relax and focus on enjoying their retreat.
Be sure to clearly label dates, times, and locations for each event. All activities, meetings, excursions, and meals should be scheduled. Don’t forget to include break times as well.
Even if there are no extended amounts of downtime scheduled, there should be short time slots for a break. You don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed by back-to-back activities all day.
A welcome meeting should start the retreat off with a quick presentation of what to expect. At this time, you can hand out the itinerary.
It’s also a great opportunity to answer any questions that may have popped up among your team. Don’t hesitate to include an icebreaker activity at this introductory meeting to kick off the retreat with a bit of fun!
8. Post-Retreat and Employee Engagement
After the retreat is over and everyone has resumed their daily work schedules, it’s beneficial to conduct a post-retreat survey. This will be a great opportunity to collect data and evaluate it.
Hopefully, all who attended had a great experience, but there may have been some issues that were brought up that you were not aware of. Negative feedback or comments do not indicate that the retreat was not successful. They are points to consider when planning another retreat.
After you gather your data and compile your results, you will be able to hold an all-hands meeting to present the results of your corporate retreat. Hopefully, you will be able to show that most employees benefited from the retreat emotionally and physically, in turn making them better workers.
Afterward, the team leads will be able to chart employee growth and productivity. This will help prove the long-term benefits of offering a corporate retreat.
Vajra Jahra Is Ideal for Corporate Retreats
Costa Rica is an ideal location for an intimate corporate retreat. The country is consistently named one of the world’s premier destinations for group retreats. The landscape of shimmering coastlines and lush jungles make Costa Rica a truly unforgettable destination.
Situated not too far from the United States, it is an excellent choice for a company retreat. If you are searching for the perfect retreat center in Costa Rica, view our incredible facility and all it has to offer.
Vajra Jahra’s unique venue offers a one-of-a-kind experience that will not soon be forgotten.
Tucked away and off the beaten path, our facility offers impeccable accommodations and high-quality activities and excursions, all while being fully immersed in nature. With room for a total of 17 guests, our staff will guarantee impeccable and attentive service.
One unique aspect of our facility is that we provide a retreat planning concierge to work with you to plan your retreat. The benefit of working in this unique partnership is that you will have an individual who is highly knowledgeable about the venue, its location, and the surrounding area.