What Are Corporate Retreats? (With Benefits and Ideas)

  1. Career Development

  2. What Are Corporate Retreats? (With Benefits and Ideas)

What Are Corporate Retreats? (With Benefits and Ideas)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 9, 2022

TwitterLinkedInFacebookEmail

Many corporations are looking for ways to boost morale, show appreciation for their staff, and offer networking events. Corporate retreats are a way that businesses can encourage team bonding and build employee relationships. Knowing how to plan an effective retreat can help the people of a business stay happy and motivated while at their job. In this article, we explain what corporate retreats are, look at some benefits of these retreats, and offer some ideas for retreats.

What are corporate retreats?

Corporate retreats are a time away from the office that is meant to encourage team building, boost morale, and can allow employees some rest and relaxation to help avoid burnout at work. These retreats can take place at hotels, wilderness retreats, corporate retreat centres, or even spas. There are four elements that help to build a successful retreat. The elements are:

  • Learning: During the retreat, employees can have the opportunity to learn something new. This can be a new skill, information about a new business practice, or something new about their co-workers.

  • Sharing: Having employees take part in exercises where they share can be a great way to develop new relationships and give each employee a voice within the company. They can share their ideas for how the company can improve, they can offer encouragement to each other, or they can express their desire for what they want to see in the company.

  • Bonding: Providing time for employees to bond with each other can help to create a great team atmosphere at work. They can do this bonding through workshops, or in a more casual way, such as a dinner party.

  • Unifying: Having a team that wants to progress together can increase effectiveness and productivity. Use retreats as a time to share the direction of the company and some goals that the business may like to reach.

While corporate retreats are a work function, they may also be a time for employees to relax. If employees feel overworked, then their productivity and workplace satisfaction can decrease. Make sure employees have some personal time and can choose to do activities they find the most relaxing. This can help to avoid becoming burnt out at work and can increase productivity in the long term.

Benefits of a corporate retreat

Listed below are some benefits of hosting a corporate retreat:

Encourages team building

Working as a team can increase effectiveness and can create a positive work environment. If the employees feel like they're a team and that they're all working towards the same goal, this can make a more productive office and increase the likelihood that people may be happy at their jobs. Corporate retreats offer a great chance to host many team-building exercises that can allow the entire company to bond and create a sense of community at work.

Helps in avoiding employee burnout

A major concern in corporations is their employees becoming overworked and feeling physically and emotionally burnt out. Without a proper work and home life balance, employees can feel overwhelmed. Retreats can help to combat this at work by providing employees with an event that promotes rest and relaxation for them. Having the corporate retreat in a place where people can relax but is also conducive for workshops and training, making it a great way to blend relaxation while still being productive. If this retreat happens regularly, it also gives employees something for them to look forward to and work towards.

Related: How to Deal With Burnout

Boosts morale

Finding ways to boost morale around the office is very essential for an effective workplace. Low morale can create a more negative work environment. Companies can avoid this by finding ways to raise morale and keep employees happy. Corporate retreats offer the perfect opportunity for this because it allows the company to have a physical expression of gratitude for their hardworking employees. When employees feel like their managers and company are truly grateful for their work, it can help create a very positive work environment.

Related: What is Team Morale? (Definition and Tips on Boosting it)

Provides an opportunity for brainstorming

Employees can develop many great ideas for the company, and a corporate retreat offers a great space to facilitate brainstorming. The retreat offers a more casual environment than their normal workspace and helps to remove the normal workplace barriers between managers and employees. This can create a more comfortable environment for free thinking and sharing ideas. Retreats can also have workshops or specific brainstorming sessions that are designed to help uncover the best ideas and discover how the company can put them into practice.

Re-assesses company priorities

Retreats are also a great time to look at the priorities of the company and reassess if there are still relevant. Retreats are a good time to do this because most of the staff is all in one place, which allows management to get the opinions of their staff easier and assess the priorities based on those opinions. After re-assessing the priorities, it's easy to now present them to the entire company, which helps to keep everyone aware of expectations and in what direction the company is looking to move.

Offers additional training

At a corporate retreat, it's common practice to offer a variety of workshops and training courses. These courses can help employees improve themselves and their performance at work. It may be leaderships training, learning an additional part of the business, or training for a promotion at work. The retreats allow for multiple different courses to be set up at the same time and for employees to pick the workshops that they believe can best benefit them. This is also a great way to encourage career development and personal improvement.

Related: What Is On-the-Job Training? (With Tips and Benefits)

Ideas for retreats

Below are some ideas of places to go and things to do on retreats:

Wilderness camps

Wilderness camps are a great place to build teamwork and focus on leadership skills. A corporate retreat to a wilderness camp can work best with smaller groups. These camps are effective because they allow people to leave modern society behind and really connect with each other. They can be more physically demanding, which can create more opportunities to work as a team to overcome challenges. These wilderness camps can offer a range of activities, like hiking, canoeing, and fishing.

Retreat centres

These centres are great because they offer all the tools and facilities needed for a corporate retreat. These places cater to corporations and do everything they can to help make sure that the company has a beneficial retreat at their facility. They offer comfortable guest rooms, conference rooms for workshops and seminars, and have spaces for hosting company-wide meals. Hosting an event at these retreat centres can make planning the event easier and less stressful for the company.

Brainstorming sessions

One event that is excellent to have at a retreat is a brainstorming session. Companies use these sessions to generate new ideas for the business and to learn about the employee's opinions and if they have any ideas to contribute. These sessions allow everyone to have a voice in the company and can help prevent a business from becoming stagnant because they are continually generating fresh ideas. Allowing employees to voice their ideas in a setting where they feel heard can help improve the workplace environment and employee happiness.

Company-wide meals

Having a meal together is a great way to build interpersonal relationships and bond with other team members. Hosting a brunch or dinner for the entire company while on a retreat can allow people to talk with people they may not normally have much contact with and can get everyone socializing in a casual and fun environment. Having meals together can help to build a sense of community within the company, which can improve productivity and workplace satisfaction.

Special guest speakers

Having special guest speakers attend the retreats can be a great learning and motivational tool for the staff. Bringing a speaker who is an expert in their field or who is a well-known figure can be exciting and can encourage employees. These speakers can aim to teach something to the group, or can simply be there to motivate them, which can lead to increased productivity. Hearing a speech from someone that isn't a normal manager or leader in the company can help to give employees a different perspective on familiar topics.

Ski trip

Going on a company ski trip can be a fun and unique experience for a retreat. It provides a drastically different setting than the typical office and gives employees a chance to be outside and active. Employees can also relax in the chalet and enjoy being somewhere new. Going on a ski trip can be a great way to get employees out of their comfort zone and have them work on new skills and try new activities. Learning a new skill together can help to develop interpersonal relationships and can encourage team bonding.