Need some ideas for your next company retreat?
As hybrid working structures and remote work become the norm, companies are investing in company retreats to bring their teams together. There is no better way to build connections, boost morale, re-establish values and renew employees’ enthusiasm than a company offsite. Investing in quality time with your team, with both structured activities and unstructured hang-outs, is imperative to truly elevating your company culture.
Keep in mind, there is no perfect one-size-fits-all template for your retreat. The best choices for activities, destination, hotel and structure are what compliment your team the most. That being said, we here at Moniker are experts in company retreats and there are a few elements that we know will elevate your retreat experience and make it truly memorable for your team. So without further ado, here are 10 Company Retreat Ideas That Your Employees Are Guaranteed To Love!
1. Add A Theme
One of our favourite company retreat ideas is to add a theme. Whether it’s for the entire retreat, or simply for a welcome reception, a theme is a fun, unifying element that can also add some direction and cohesion to retreat. For example, you might add a very broad theme for your entire retreat based on a goal you’re looking to achieve such as Connection, Creativity or Innovation. This will not only inspire your team and give them a clear understanding of why they’re here and what they hope to accomplish, but it will also help you immensely in the planning process as you make decisions on workshop content, activities or guest speakers.
Additionally, one-off themes for single events during the retreat are fantastic options to add some good old-fashioned fun. Think: 90’s Party, Black & White, Great Gatsby; the opportunities are endless! Your decorations, food and music can all be made to match your theme. Your team will get to dress up and make unique memories together!
2. Respect Everyone’s Time
We understand, you want to get as much done on your retreat as possible. However, to be truly effective, it’s incredibly vital to be selective and thoughtful when choosing your activities and it is even more important to ensure adequate rest time. The trap that many companies fall into is packing an itinerary so full that there is no unstructured leisure time. This leads to burnout as your team will have no alone time to recharge their social battery and can make workshops and activities way less effective. It also does not allow for the invaluable bonding time and memories that can only come from unstructured leisure time by the pool or an impromptu game of beach volleyball.
So make an effective schedule and stick to it. Don’t let workshops run long, and don’t make any morning starts too early. This will show your team that you respect their time. It will make them feel valued, and above all, give them the rest they need to fully show-up and be engaged for all other activities.
3. Try Non-Traditional Team-Building Options
Trust falls and three-legged races are so over. While these may have been the typical team-building activities of yesteryear, they’re just not going to cut it anymore. If you want to engage your team, inspire true team-bonding and create unique memories for them, then you need to stray from the norm and choose some team-building activities that are outside the box.
Destination scavenger hunts, company trivia, human bingo or paint-ball are just a few of the many effective activities we love to suggest. And remember, these activities don’t have to be labeled as “team-building”, you can simply enjoy the natural team-connection that comes from trying something new together. A destination-based cooking class, outdoor adventure or local craft-making workshop are awesome ways to bring people together. Your employees are guaranteed to love the thought you put into these much more unique activities.
4. Immerse Yourself in Nature
We could all get outside more. Especially within remote companies, employees can go a whole day without once leaving their house. So why not take the opportunity to embrace the outdoors in a fantastic destination? Outdoor activities allow everyone to take a break from their screens and will foster connection. Additionally, try holding some small team-workshops outside! This is wil create a really unique collaborative environment and will really shake things up from their regular online Zoom meetings. Your employees will love the change of pace when you implementthis company retreat idea!
5. Add A Welcome Gift
Who doesn’t love presents? Gifting your employees when they arrive on their first day will add surprise and excitement to their arrival and make them feel special. We’re not talking about just another company T-shirt either. Put some time into really thinking about what your employees might need on this trip like a waterproof bag or extra pen and notebook for workshops. You can even include hints for upcoming surprise activities or add in a fun puzzle or challenge to complete throughout the retreat. Take it from us, you simply cannot go wrong with a welcome gift and your employees are guaranteed to love it.
6. Bring In A Guest Speaker
Learning something new is an amazing way to bring your team together. So consider bringing in a guest speaker that aligns with your retreat theme and company goals. It can go a long way in not only elevating your employees’ experience but also in increasing productivity and positively changing your company processes or strategy. It will also add more variety in their day, especially if your retreat is presentation heavy. If you are a remote company, having everyone together in one room to learn a new skill or gain a different perspective can be a transformative experience, and will add exponential value to your retreat.
7. Go Offsite for A Nice Dinner
Another company retreat idea we regularly implement is going offsite (especially if your retreat is on a resort) for a delicious dinner and drinks is an exciting and memorable element to include on your retreat. Choose a nice restaurant that serves local fare and give everyone the opportunity to dress up a little bit! To elevate the dinner even further, add a themed cocktail hour, live music or choose a restaurant with a gorgeous view of your chosen destination. Not only will this add a sense of adventure to your team, it will give everyone the chance to unwind, enjoy some cocktails and provide a fantastic opportunity for photos where everyone is looking their best!
8. Gift Them A Bucket-List Experience
Show your employees you truly care by gifting them the opportunity to do something truly bucket-list worthy. This is completely dependent on your destination but trust us when we say, there are fantastic experiences to be had anywhere you go. This focus should not be on the company, but simply on ensuring that each individual has an amazing experience to take home with them. Ziplining through the treetops, hot-air ballooning or seeing a famous landmark; these are all experiences that will last a lifetime and will make a huge difference in your employees' retreat experience. This is your chance to show them how truly valued they are and they’re guaranteed to love it.
9. Offer Optional Activities
Introverts, extroverts and in-between; you’re bound to have a healthy mix of different personalities and energy levels within your company. So allow some flexibility when it comes to participation. Obviously, there are some mandatory elements that you want everyone to attend but contrary to what you may believe, making some activities optional will actually increase engagement during the compulsory activities. Add a before-dinner cocktail hour, some afternoon pool games or an added get-to-know-you challenge throughout the retreat that are optional to participate in. Those social-butterflies will jump at the chance while others will feel they have the autonomy to take the rest they need. Your employees will love the freedom to choose and it will make everyone more inclined to participate fully in the mandatory activities!
10. Buyout An Entire Property
While this company retreat idea is dependent on your group size, a property buyout is a truly fantastic way to ensure team cohesion. Buying out a property means all of the hotel guest rooms are occupied by your team, with no outside guests. This makes it easy to make friends, say hi to someone they don’t know in the hallway, and feel more comfortable walking around onsite! This option is guaranteed to enhance your retreat and make it a truly special experience for your employees.
Let’s Get Planning!
A company retreat using any or all of these ideas is sure to be a hit with your team. Everyone will return feeling refreshed, realigned and re-energized to keep striving for your joint goals! If you need destination ideas check out our other recommendations in California, Colorado, Texas, London, Mexico, Lisbon and The UK. Ready to get started? Contact us or check out our steps to planning a company retreat. Happy Planning!