If you’ve ever had to suffer a mundane, unproductive team bonding exercise at a corporate work retreat (you know the ones, the ‘trust fall’ or the ‘catch the egg’ game), you’ll probably be the first to dismiss these office outings as a waste of time and money.
But if you look beyond the superficial motivational exercises and forced fun, you’ll find that company staff retreats are a great way to look at the business in perspective, have everyone step outside their ‘business as usual’ mentality, and offer up ideas on how things can be done better.
Office retreats can be amazing for team building, solidifying working relationships and improving your business overall. In fact, many startups list company staff retreat as part of a successful business strategy, so it looks like they are here to stay.
Whether it be for team building, or a well-deserved office break, we’ve made organising a fun corporate retreat a breeze with this step by step checklist.
Deciding on the perfect venue can be daunting and challenging part of organising corporate retreats, but just ask yourself a few questions first:
If you want to save some money on travel costs, be sure to keep the event in the boundaries of the city. Accessible for the whole office, but still gets everyone into a fresh space.
Ensure you have a quiet area for brainstorming sessions or meetings. Hotels and lodgings usually have boardrooms, conference and meeting rooms available when you’re in need of a productive environment.
It’s also important to keep in mind any of the activities you’re planning on doing. Can they be done in the conference room or will you need outside space? Will you have to keep the weather conditions in mind? Once you’ve answered all these questions, you’ll be armed and ready to pick the best venue for your corporate retreat.
Catering for all day training is vital for a successful corporate retreat! Productivity and motivation will be at a huge loss if people start getting hungry. Tea, coffee and water should always be available, as well as yummy and healthy snacks to tide everyone over. When it comes to the main meals, such as breakfast, lunch or morning and afternoon tea, make sure you have corporate catering ready to go. Find a local corporate caterer that delivers to the location in which you’re having your retreat, and work with them to put something together. (Or, use Order-In for your all day corporate catering needs. We have many corporate caterers in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra or Adelaide who can cater for your corporate retreat).
Ask well in advance for any special dietary requirements your team might have - whether they are vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, it's important nobody walks away hungry. Make sure that the food is excellent quality. You don’t want staff thinking you’ve scrimped on the food budget!
What to keep in mind when organising all day catering:
If you really want to keep the team engaged, why not try something unique for lunch? Vietnamese, sushi or even Mexican catering can help beat the midday slump and give the team the motivation they need to keep going.
Whether it's up to you or your senior team members, make sure the purpose of your corporate retreat is well communicated before the day. If it's team building, productivity, or targeted action at specific problems within the company, knowing your goals is vital for a successful company event. This will help with the next step, how to build the best agenda!
Once you’ve got a venue and organised delicious corporate catering, it’s time to start planning the agenda. You may need to involve senior team members of the business at this stage, because they are likely to be in charge of determining the purpose of the staff retreat and what needs to be achieved. Stick to your agenda to keep every focused. Check out our guide to hosting all day meetings for more tips and tricks.
Make sure you dedicate sufficient time for in-depth discussions and be sure to add in regular breaks every few hours or so for the tea, coffee and snacks you organised earlier. Be generous when setting aside time for meals (such as breakfast or lunch), because this will provide extra opportunities for staff to refresh, socialise and get to know each other outside of the work environment.
Include all your fun activities and be sure to leave time for spontaneity! This will allow everyone to go with the flow and keep the day stress-free for everyone.
You may or may not decide to assign a facilitator, but opting for one could help the staff retreat run smoothly and take some of the pressure off you. Basically, they can help ‘facilitate’ group discussions, set expectations and goals as well as ensure that the agenda is adhered to. Afterwards, you can call on them to help summarise decisions made and action steps that need to be taken.
There could be someone in the office who is perfect for the job, otherwise you can source a professional. Use the services of our experienced event managers if you need assistance or ideas planning corporate work retreats for you business - we’ll make sure your day is a success.
Organising a company retreat is a feat, so now is your time to enjoy. Spend some quality time with your colleagues, enjoy some delicious food and get the job done.
Download our business meeting planning and catering checklist here to ensure nothing gets forgotten!