Recently, we had our first offsite company retreat. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time because of the tremendous organizational value it holds. Planning a retreat may seem like an arduous task, but since when has building a company been easy? From securing a venue and food, to planning out the agenda for the day, to finding the right balance between fun and productivity, the benefits far outweigh the time and effort it takes to pull it all together. Here are my top 6 reasons why hosting an off-site company retreat is an important part of growing your business:
- Show commitment – An off-site retreat is great investment in your team. It show’s your dedication to growing the company the right way, while showing a strong commitment to their development. It also creates an inclusive environment where your team understands they are part of the company’s vision.
- Improve communication – Do you have some team members that do not get to interact regularly? An off-site retreat breaks down those barriers and creates a dynamic environment where communication among the team is key. By promoting communication, you’re able to build trust and stronger inter-work relationships.
- Check on progress – Do you share your company goals with your team? If so, this is a great time to make sure that you’re on track. If you don’t, this might be the time to start. By sharing your company’s vision and goals, and tracking where you are against those goals, it holds the company accountable. And don’t forget that accountability starts at the top!
- Focus on process – For our retreat, we split the day in half. The first half of the day was dedicated to process, while the second half was dedicated more to team challenges. By identifying several key steps in your process, such as the client onboarding process, project management, or reporting and analysis, you can find ways to improve what’s currently in place. You can also use this as an opportunity to gain valuable staff insight on ways to streamline the process or make it even more effective. The other advantage to a process review is that it helps to ensure that everyone is properly following the processes that are most important to the organization.
- Build company culture – A company’s culture goes a long way in building and retaining a talented team. A culture that fosters teamwork, promotes open communication and encourages feedback goes a long way when growing your company. An off-site retreat will help to support your culture by placing a priority on those key cultural elements.
- Have fun – An off-site retreat is a break from the norm. Many of us spend our days hiding behind a computer screen, focused on our clients. A retreat allows us to focus on each other and our relationships. Plan some fun activities throughout the day and allow your staff to unwind. When everyone gets to know each other better on a personal level, stronger relationships will form. While a retreat needs to be productive, it also needs to be fun.
I’m already planning our next retreat and I encourage you to as well. Find a great venue, bring in some breakfast, lunch and plenty of coffee and remember, if your day isn’t filled with some laughter then you’re missing out on the real focus of the day – a happy team!