As an Events Manager, I have had several corporate clients inquire about hosting their first retreat. For many individuals who inquire, it is the first time that they have contemplated the benefits of hosting a retreat outside of the office environment. Some of the hesitations that keep clients from booking are as follows: budgeting for a retreat, why plan a retreat, where would we host the retreat and of course, why host a retreat?
A retreat is a great tool when a group has something important to work on together. Strategy development, conflict resolution, working agreements, a new initiative or action planning are all excellent opportunities for retreats. With a clear focus, a retreat can be an opportunity to innovate, see new possibilities and envision the work of an organization in new and refreshed ways. Retreats can also build organizational muscle for strategic and creative thinking that can be carried back into daily work. A retreat can be an opportunity for reflecting together, assessing and refining practice, and providing a turbo boost to specific aspects of work.
While a retreat provides a break from the narrow lens of everyday life, it does need to be fully connected to your organizational work. We want to make a note about “teambuilding.” When people make a commitment to spend time together, it can change the way they relate to each other and their work together.
A successful retreat requires more than the right reasons and a meaningful purpose; it also takes thoughtful planning and preparation. The staff of Majors Estate is here to assist you in that process.
The location of a retreat can help determine its success. Here are some important considerations:
Off-site is better. Much better. Getting out of your typical environment helps you escape daily work and the temptation to “just get a little work done.”
When appropriate, stay overnight. Something magical happens when people have the chance to sleep on their work, wake up, and continue working together.
If you do stay overnight, make sure you have appropriate accommodations. What level of comfort does your group expect? Do people want to share rooms?
Find a location that feels special and out of the ordinary. Being together in a nice environment will open up your minds and hearts. A good retreat space is comfortable, with room to move around and supports new creativity.
Here are some key points in planning a retreat:
Develop clear retreat goals and outcomes that are tied to important organizational work.
Prioritize outcomes. Don’t expect to address every organizational issue in one retreat.
Schedule the retreat for a time and place that makes it as easy and enjoyable as possible for everyone to participate.
Prepare participants by providing information and sharing expectations in advance.
Anticipate post-retreat follow-up before the retreat.
Contact us today to discuss your next retreat.