Office RetreatGuiding a team of employees away from the everyday sights of the office opens the door for something remarkable: A fresh perspective on each other, their managers and their business can spark innovation, boost morale and unify employees with reaffirmed values. If well planned and executed, corporate retreats can be highly insightful and beneficial. To ensure your employees and business are given the most fulfilling experience, consider the following tips and ideas:

What do you want to accomplish?
Developing a concise set of goals will keep you on track as you plan the details. Ideally, a singular goal should be the inspiration for your office retreat. For example, are you trying to improve communication and cooperation among employees? Or are you trying to give employees a broader understanding of how the company works? Perhaps you’re hoping to learn from employees to set new company values or, more simply, hoping to identify potential leaders?

What exercises will achieve this?
Whatever goal you choose will determine the activities you plan. For example, if it’s enhancing employee communication, you’ll want plan a number of team building exercises. Divide employees into groups for a variety of games and challenges. Make some work-related – like brainstorming new sources of clients or inventing a marketing campaign – and others purely fun. A scavenger hunt is an excellent team building game that is also sure to illuminate potential leaders.

To highlight the various skills and talents of employees, it is important to choose a divergent set of challenges. Memory games emphasize organizational skills, while problem solving calls on the critical thinkers. Likewise, a combination of quantitative and creative challenges gives different team members a chance to show off their skills. An office functions best when employees recognize each other’s talents.

An office retreat also affords managers and employees to better understand their company: What goals and values keep it vital? One popular game for employees involves inventing an ideal competitor and figuring out how to beat them. This first hand discovery gives employees a renewed sense of focus and a better understanding of the values that keep them afloat.

Ideas for Retreat Themes
If the competitor game seems like an ideal focus for your office retreat, consider building a theme around it. Choose a theme of popular game shows to encourage friendly competition. Decorate the convention area as a game show set and offer prizes accordingly. Selecting a well-known theme can also help the event stay organized, as most participants will already be aware of the rules and procedures.

Themes, in general, can boost excitement for the event. If your company performs international business, consider setting a cultural theme for a country you visit. Play music and serve authentic dishes. Other common ideas for include popular movies, historical periods, or seasonal themes.

If you’ve stuck to your main goals throughout the planning and guiding of activities you should be seeing the fruits of a successful office retreat. The last step is to give it a proper conclusion. If you’re going with a keynote speaker, make sure they can speak to company specifics. Invite them early to chitchat with a few employees. Relaying experiences of the retreat alongside their professional knowledge will give employees a perfect send-off.

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