Unlike a 1:1 in your office or a conference center townhall, informal retreat meetings break the mold and give the team a chance work outside the confines of roles and titles. The more relaxed atmosphere of a retreat promotes better communication and team bonding, allowing your employees to let go of office politics and embrace a shared experience. Even with nothing in common at the workplace, everyone on the retreat can find common ground through the experience of the get-away.
Reap the Benefits of a Small Business Retreat
The benefits of a retreat appear in employees’ increased productivity. Like the advantage of a vacation, retreats are a break that lets employees relax so that they can come back with more energy. Also, taking their work to a new environment brings fresh perspective to the job and can inspire more contributions back at the office. Finally, retreats improve communication by opening channels between management and employees and developing informal networking between teams in ways that just aren’t possible at the office. The more relaxed retreat atmosphere fosters connections, even between those who may not normally interact, and improves communication overall.
Not Your Traditional Retreat
Though beneficial, there is a cautionary tale from the 2000s to be told about using retreats as rewards without value. Tradition saw executives splurge on retreats while employees watched from the sidelines as these lavish paid vacations catered to the top tier management. Back then, a retreat was a sign of executive largesse, excessive and reserved only for the C-Suite & Friends.
Today, a retreat offers much more meaningful value to the business and pertains to all levels of employees. The ability to remove the team from distractions of the workplace is an opportunity to really focus on an initiative. If you do it right, you can use the time to focus on training, brainstorming, and team building in ways that the office just doesn’t allow; you have the space and atmosphere to shake employees from the routine and explore new ground.
Investment With Returns
There are costs to a retreat, but more than just the price of doing business, this expense is an investment. Spending the money to develop your employees only comes back to you in droves when the work gets done better and more efficiently by employees who feel valued and more committed.
March is the perfect time of year to schedule a retreat since you can take advantage of the quarter’s end and Spring Break season. Use the time to evaluate the years’ progress thus far and set goals as well as minimize the bite from budget with seasonal travel discounts and packages available.