Step-by-Step: Planning a Team Retreat
Why should you host a team retreat?
Annual team retreats create many positive changes throughout your entire organization.
Team building retreats will:
✅ Increase employee engagement
✅ Enhance company culture
✅ Encourage team collaboration
✅ Boost employee/team performance
✅ Build greater team cohesion
✅ Improve overall business productivity
If you want to learn even more about the benefits and purpose of hosting a team retreat check out my article Startup Retreat: Why You Startup Should Host a Team Building Offsite This Fall.
In this article, I walk you through what kind of team retreats are available to you and a full step-by-step guide to planning a team retreat.
Table of Contents:
Types of Team Retreats
Corporate retreats are team offsites that balance work and play.
What your team needs to focus on will determine what kind of retreat will work best for your startup.
Below, I differentiate between three types of retreats to help you decide which one will best suit your startup team’s needs.
A. Remote Team Retreat
The future of work is remote and more and more companies are continuing to make the permanent switch to an online office.
While it’s not necessary that team members meet face-to-face for common daily tasks, big projects require your entire team to meet up in person.
Remote teams meet in person to:
- Focus on work that is difficult to do remotely such as project design/building
- Create an opportunity for coworkers to connect on a personal-level
- To understand common values and to get to know one another better as remote companies tend to be more diverse.
B. Leadership Retreat
A leadership retreat gives senior management the chance to get together and talk about the company’s future.
It gives them the opportunity to sit down and analyze the company’s performance objectively in a face-to-face setting.
This kind of offsite retreat is often hosted in a hotel, with an event space, for two to three days.
By putting top managers in a new environment, you clear their mind and spark greater creative and critical thinking which boost productivity.
Leadership retreats are essential to get a clear picture of how the company is growing and what strategic steps need to be made for its future development.
C. Team Building Retreat
Team building retreats focus on connecting team members on a personal level. They’re a great way to strike a perfect balance between working toward common company goals while still being able to bond together as a team.
The goal of team building retreats can be as simple as getting to know each other better, to resolving the tensions of office politics.
Team building retreats are the perfect opportunity to align employees on company culture and values while giving them an overall boost in morale and performance.
Now that you know about the different retreat options available to you, let’s get into the nitty gritty retreat planning process. 👇
Your step-by-step guide to planning a team retreat.
1. Decide what you want out of your team retreat.
As with anything, you need to go into a team retreat with a specific outcome in mind.
If you want to get the most out of your offsite retreat understand what you want to come away with after hosting it.
Do you want to reignite employee passion, nip office politics in the butt, improve overall team dynamics, or come away with some innovative business strategies?
What you want out of the retreat will dictate the rest of your planning process from how much time you need to spend at an offsite retreat, to where you will host the retreat, and what activities you will choose.
2. Pick a time frame.
To get the most out of your next team retreat we recommend that you book on for at least three to five days (depending on the size of your team). But, if that isn’t realistic for your startup a minimum of two days, with at least one day spent off-site will definitely be a morale booster.
3. Set a budget for your team retreat.
There are lots of costs to consider when planning a team retreat.
Everything from transportation, accommodations, meals, to team activities must be taken into account.
One example budget to follow is Buffer. They set their annual retreat cost at $5,000 per person for a larger retreat, while mini retreats are set at $1,400 per person.
To make the most out of your team retreat with the budget you have available, check out this retreat budget tool.
4. Pick a team retreat location.
Deciding on the right team retreat location is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In fact, it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your team retreat planning process as it has a direct impact on the cost and satisfaction of the team retreat.
For the best advice on where to take your team on your next offsite retreat checkout my article Best Corporate Retreats in Southern Ontario. There you will find five amazing, yet affordable offsite retreat locations that your entire team will enjoy.
5. Create the structure of your retreat.
The best team retreats are a combination of working and team building. It’s essential that there is a happy balance between completing work tasks and cutting loose.
Some teams choose to work from the office in the morning and then go off for team activities and meals during the day.
Our team retreats include team building activities such as leadership development, personality discovery, communication workshops, strategic planning, and more. To see a more detailed outline of what our team retreats have to offer you, check out the Retreats page on our website.
6. Plan to involve everyone as much as possible.
The unfortunate reality of business is that not all team members are going to be able to participate in an offsite retreat 100% of the time.
For example, employees in customer service may have to spend at least some time during the retreat on their daily tasks, due to the nature of their job.
Take the time to understand what work tasks team members have to get done in a day and do your best to plan fun team building activities around that. This can be as simple as planning late afternoon and evening activities to accommodate for team members who have to finish work tasks in the morning.
Book your team retreat today!
Team retreats are the most effective way to create a long-lasting impact on team dynamics and cohesion.
By following my step-by-step team retreat planning guide you will take your startup team from good to great.