Your employees work hard all year long. A company retreat that combines a little R&R with strategic planning and team-building activities can be an effective way to improve employee morale and get the creative juices flowing. With proper planning, you can create an event that is memorable for being fun and productive.
Step 1: Define the goals
Setting clear, simple, and achievable goals will help structure the rest of the retreat plan, including selecting an appropriate venue, scheduling the activities, and deciding on the attendee list. For example, if one of your goals is to increase cross-functional team cooperation, be sure to invite representatives from various departments and divide them into mixed teams for trust-building activities.
Step 2: Plan ahead and secure a venue
Schedules fill up quickly – for employees and venues. Be sure to book your retreat at least 3 months in advance, or more if the event will take place during high seasons for travel. Select and book the venue as early as possible, then quickly follow up with staff invitations to improve your chances of a great turnout. When selecting a venue, be sure to consider the activities and facilities available on-site, and what you will have to bring with you or travel to. Shuttling people from a hotel to a venue can add extra cost that might justify a more expensive hotel that has meeting facilities and activities on-site.
Step 3: Create the agenda
Once you have your goals, venue, and guest list you can create the agenda. The schedule should allow for some relaxation and downtime as well as reinforce the underlying goals. Too work heavy? People will burn out and wonder why you didn’t just schedule the meeting in the office. Too much downtime? Focus can be lost, and your event will fail to meet its objectives, making it much harder to justify a company retreat to leadership in the future. You may also want to form an event committee that includes representatives of the teams that will be attending. This will bring more ideas to the table and help ensure the activities are appropriate for your attendees.
Step 4: Communicate the agenda and expectations
Publish the goals and the agenda ahead of time and schedule a pre-retreat meeting with all attendees to review the goals and to set expectations for the trip. This will help gain alignment around the objectives and keep the event on-track.
Proper planning and communication will make for a memorable and effective company retreat that your employees will remember for years to come. At Imperial River Company, we have the facilities to host your next company excursion: comfortable guest rooms, on-site catering, fully-equipped meeting room, and a top-rated whitewater rafting company for the ultimate team building experience – conveniently located on the gorgeous Deschutes River in Central Oregon, just 2 hours from Portland. Call or email us today!