If you check out our blog, you’ll see a plethora of posts providing you with helpful tips, destination inspiration and unique ideas to make your company retreat the best it can be. However (pause for dramatic effect), there are also many things that should be avoided to ensure the success of your work retreat! With time comes experience and with ten years of retreat planning under our belts, we have definitely seen at least a few mistakes happen. And we all know mistakes should be learned from so we advise our clients to avoid these common missteps. So here are ...
5 Things You Should avoid When Planning a Company Retreat!
1. DON’T: Pack Your Retreat Schedule
We understand, you want to make the most of your time with your team. The temptation to jampack your retreatschedule with as many meetings, team-building events and destination activities as possible is huge! However, filling every minute with an activity means there is no leisure time. And let us tell you, leisure time is vital to a successful retreat. Without this valuable free time there is no chance for unstructured team-building, spontaneous hangouts and chances to get to know your teammates in a more casual way. This will also lead to exhaustion and actually hinder your team’s focus when it comes to presentations and workshops. If there’s one thing you should not do when planning your company retreat, it’s this!
INSTEAD: Moniker can help you ensure a balanced retreat schedule of leisure, effective workshops, coffee breaks and specifically curated activities so that everyone can enjoy their time together while also feeling energized to fully commit to the scheduled activities.
BONUS TIP: Don’t make every activity mandatory. Making some of the things on your itinerary optional will give your team the flexibility to choose what works best for them. It will be infinitely easier for them to recharge and arrive excited for the mandatory activities.
2. DON’T: Make People Share Rooms
Work retreats can be overwhelming. People everywhere and lots of talking, activities, energy and excitement. Even the extroverts on your team may feel a little over stimulated! Constantly being “on” can be exhausting, and if everyone on your team is made to share rooms with their co-workers, they won’t have the space to relax and recharge. This can lead to a burnt out, overwhelmed and even anxious team; the exact opposite of the engaged and energetic team you want on a company retreat.
INSTEAD: People truly value their personal space, so choosing to ensure that every person on the retreat gets their own room goes a long way in making people not only feel much more comfortable, but also that their personal boundaries are being respected. Obviously due to space, numbers or budget constraints, this may not be possible. An easy way to work around is to ask for volunteers to share a room. There are bound to be some close friends on the team and offering an incentive like a massage, swag bag, welcome treat or room with a view can easily solve this problem when planning your company retreat.
3. DON’T: Schedule Early Morning Meetings
Picture this: you’re in a beautiful destination, enjoying dinners, drinks and team-bonding with your colleagues… the last thing you want to do is have to go to sleep insanely early for an 8AM meeting the next morning. We understand, you want to make the most of your time on the retreat and this often involves valuable workshops and team meetings. However, trust us when we say, you will get more out of your employees if you aren’t waking them up at the crack of dawn and making them jump into the thick of things straight away.
INSTEAD: Schedule your meetings for a 9, 9:30 or 10AM start. Even this small change can make a world of difference in terms of team engagement and interest. A bonus tip is to offer optional morning activities prior to your meetings such as yoga, fitness or a casual breakfast meet and greet to ensure you are still making the most of your time. For more scheduling tips, check out our retreat templates!
4. DON’T: Forget To Experience The Local Culture
With so much you want to accomplish on your work retreat, it can be easy to forget about your amazing destination! Traditionally, most meetings, meals and some team-building activities take place at the hotel. So there’s a risk of missing out on experiencing the local culture, cuisine, architecture and more. One of the perks of company retreats is bringing your team together in an amazing destination, so if you don’t make a point of embracing it, you and your team may end up feeling unsatisfied at the end of the retreat.
INSTEAD: Moniker can help you actively integrate your local and cultural activities into your retreat. Opt for some unique team-building activities that take place outside of the hotel, or offer an afternoon of optional activities that all support local businesses, honour local culture or teach you something new about your destination.
BONUS TIP: Opt for a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activity that helps your team give back to the community you are guests in. This will help the local community, and will also allow your team to truly immerse themselves in the culture in a way that is respectful and beneficial to everyone involved.
5. DON’T: Take It Too Seriously
Hosting a company retreat is a huge undertaking, we get it! It’s a big step and while it is exciting, effective and invaluable to company culture, it can also be stressful. We know you have specific goals for your work retreat, but putting too much pressure on yourself, your team and your entire retreat to achieve these goals will often have the opposite effect. What we see so often is teams forgetting to encourage their employees to have fun, relax and actually soak up the moment! If everything during the retreat is taken too seriously, you and your team will experience stress, burnout and ultimately, leave less energized than before… and that’s definitely something you do not want for your company retreat!
INSTEAD: Set expectations with your team at the beginning of your retreat and clearly outline when you expect them to focus and when you encourage them to have some fun! This will easily allow everyone to relax and make it clear when they need to bring their A-game. Not everything has to be directly focused on team-building so schedule time for destination-based activities simply to give your employees this amazing experience. Your work retreat will not only be more productive but also leave everyone feeling grateful and excited about their place within your company.
BONUS TIP: Getting caught up in the nitty gritty of event planning, day to day operations, contracts and communicating with vendors can not only stress you out, but it will also lead to a less streamlined, more worrisome event for your entire team. Use Moniker’s complete company retreat planning service so we can do the heavy lifting while you get to actually enjoy your company trip. We’ll help you relieve as much stress as possible by handling everything from the big picture to the smallest details so you can be as present as possible with your team and make the most of it!
Ask The Experts
Now you’ve heard some of the common mistakes made when planning your company retreat and their solutions. We here at Moniker have so many more ideas for how to solve these, and other common missteps. So reach out to us and start your company retreat planning journey today. Happy travelling!