There was a time in the not too distant past when people kept their professional and personal lives completely separate. The idea of mixing work and pleasure was considered almost taboo. Not only was this true for individuals but also for companies. The general thinking was that mixing work with pleasure was likely to negatively affect “the bottom line”. However, in today’s corporate environment that kind of thinking would be considered archaic and even counter-intuitive. In contemporary business culture there is a strong sense that employees who feel engaged both personally and professionally with their colleagues tend to thrive creatively and productively.
One of the ways that companies have really sought to apply this new thinking is in the regular planning and hosting of corporate retreats. Such events are the proverbial win-win for the company and its employees. A corporate retreat is effective for a number of reasons. First of all, it demonstrates that the company values its employees as people and not just as individual parts of a larger whole. This is especially the case when companies are willing to “splurge” a little in their corporate retreat planning. Picking a location that is inspiring, picturesque and peaceful can make all the difference in setting the right tone for the people involved in the corporate retreat.
Moving beyond choosing the right location for your corporate retreat gathering (which is essential) there are several other factors that can contribute to the overall success of your group retreat. Once you arrive in your scenic getaway spot its important to plan the events of your corporate retreat so as to mix in some professional and personal time. If the event is packed full of company presentations- one after the other- your employees may begin to disengage. On the other hand if you’re able to mix in some corporate vision-casting with some personal sharing time, some “outside the box” brainstorming, and some “fun and games” not directly related to the business of the company, you’ll find that the corporate retreat event will come off as a huge success; in every measurable way.
Once you’ve chosen the right location for your company getaway, and you’ve planned the overall scheme of events, another factor than can contribute greatly to the success of your gathering is planning for some company and individual employee recognition time. Take some time to not only plan for the future but also to reflect and celebrate the progress you’ve already made as a team. People won’t feel so caught up in the endless retrace of the corporate world if the company’s management takes the time to celebrate the history of the company; and the contribution of individual employees. Taking the time to reflect like this also helps management to recognize the unique gift-mixes of various people- and this can help to better plan for future assignments. And when employees sense that management has a vested interest in knowing what they uniquely excel at then employees tend to “own” the mission and vision of the company in a whole new way. And once again this is a win-win for everyone involved.
These are just a few tips that can lead to a hugely successful corporate retreat gathering. Keeping in mind just a few simple tips can make all the difference in the overall success of your company getaway. If you remember to choose a location that is simultaneously inspiring and relaxing, if you mix in a little work and a little pleasure, and if you take time to celebrate the history and progress of the team, then your corporate event is likely to prove more worthwhile than you had ever imagined. You and your team will return to the “usual” work environment feeling connected in more ways than one. If done well a corporate retreat will allow this new dimension of connectivity to carry on into the “day to day” of the work-week. Not only does a successful corporate retreat bring your employees together over a weekend, but it even more importantly goes a long way towards changing the entire culture for the company. And this is a win-win for everyone involved.
Darren King is part of the marketing team at Big Cabins (http://www.bigcabins.com); a Smoky Mountain lodging company that specializes in catering to corporate retreat gatherings, family reunions, and other large group retreats. The large and luxurious mountain lodges featured at Big Cabins are the perfect lodging solution for large groups planning for a Tennessee retreat. No matter what your large group vacation plans include, the customer service staff at Big Cabins are always on hand to help with every conceivable detail of your group retreat gathering. Need catering provided? We can help with that. Planning for audio-visual presentations? We have the equipment on hand to handle that as well. These magnificent Smoky Mountain group cabins can comfortably accommodate up to 58 people and contain exquisite furnishings and detailing, state of the art audio-visual equipment, sprawling hardwood decks with covered hot tubs, ultra-modern kitchen facilities, and much more.