Organizing the Perfect Office Retreat


More than staff meetings, retreats can build camaraderie, morale, and rejuvenate your staff. Intended to reorient employees while giving them a break from the office routine, a retreat can be an incredible business investment or a horrible flop, depending on how well it is planned.As summer winds down, you might consider planning a retreat in order to recommit your business and your staff. While it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, it should be thoughtfully planned in order to ensure optimal success. As you organize your company retreat, consider the following 7 steps:

1. Select an approach

Some companies plan playful retreats where employees interact in unusual and unexpected ways while others choose a very business-like approach. Whether you decide to be playful, for example, asking employees to participate in a zip line tour, or professional, using Power Point Presentations in hotel conference rooms, you must select an approach long before you invite your employees.

Consider the temperament of your staff and select an approach that will boost morale and encourage improved performance. You may decide to go with the most unexpected approach in order to upend their expectations and encourage a dramatic change in perspective.

2. Determine a location

This may incur the greatest cost, depending on the location you choose. However, if you’re creative you may be able to trade services with a client or prospective client who has a cabin, hotel, or other getaway location you could use.

It’s important that you select a location after you determine your approach because they should complement one another. You wouldn’t expect to hold a business-oriented retreat at an amusement park just as you wouldn’t expect to hold a relaxing retreat in your company’s conference room.

3. Create goals

Creating specific goals will greatly contribute to your retreat’s success. What would you most like to accomplish? What areas do you need to focus on? Once you determine your goals you’ll find it easier to plan specific events for your retreat.

4. Consider hiring a facilitator and/or motivational speaker

Your employees have heard you speak before and while we’re guessing you’re an amazing motivational speaker you might consider contracting a guest lecturer. Search for someone who specializes in the theme you are most interested in. You may find guest lecturers at a local college or university, in a life coach, or a local celebrity. Again, you might be able to trade your accounting services in order to cut costs.

5. Plan your meals

A retreat’s appeal includes the pampering of employees, including the meals provided through the course of a retreat. You can choose to have the event catered, food ordered in, or friends and family prepare the meals for you. Whatever you decide, it’s important that you select your menu early on and make all the necessary arrangements so your staff doesn’t feel short-changed.

6. Produce a schedule

If you don’t create a schedule, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by awkward moments and gaps of wasted time. Fill each day with discussions, activities, group projects and perhaps video segments. And don’t forget to include those important breaks. With each event you plan ask yourself if it aligns with your retreat goals and approach.

7. Talk up the retreat

Once you’ve scheduled the retreat it’s important to give it high billing with your employees. Talk about it in staff meetings, make note of it on the office calendar and hand out invitations.

A retreat can bring new life to an organization, inspiring employees to work harder and contribute more to a company’s success. The better organized your retreat, the more successful it will be. If you would like to incorporate onsite training into your retreat, contact Universal Accounting Center. We can demonstrate how employees can become profit experts in your organization, regardless of their current position. Whether you would like to train your management team, your entire staff or specific employees, Universal can help. Learn more today by visiting Universal Accounting Center.

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