Creator's Castle news, tips, hints and information on trips to Tuscany.
7 Tips for Planning Your Corporate Retreat
Imagine your team bursting with new motivation, purpose and cooperation - and all this from a few days together out of the office. Corporate retreats improve team building, morale and productivity as well as give your office environment a huge boost.
Whether you have been growing fast, have offices in different countries or just need to breathe some new life into your team a corporate retreat will get your team aligned and collaborating effectively. Plus your employees will feel valued and actually lucky to be on your team.
Taking employees away from 'actual work' and bringing them to an exotic destination like a castle in Tuscany is no small task. It will also result in big benefits which will last for years to come.
Great retreats should combine fun bonding activities with substantive business content to build trust and connections. Here are a few things to think of when planning your own corporate retreat.
Find an accommodation that has a meeting room large enough for your group. You won’t be in there all day but you will need a traditional work space some of the time. This will help distinguish between the 'fun' part of the retreat from the 'focus and get to work' part. Working outside on a beautiful balcony or olive grove could be nice but sometimes you need to fully focus. Choose rooms that are spacious, well lit and have quirky, inspiring features. You're not bringing your team on a special retreat just to sit in a cramped, white, fluorescent-lit, uninspiring environment.
Look for a corporate package that includes accommodation, activities, workshops, meeting rooms, excursions and catering so you won’t need to search for separate providers and plan individually. This will make things so much easier, faster and even cheaper for you as package deals will usually offer discounts for large groups.
3. PLAN EARLY
Plan your dates well in advance. This will allow plenty of time for people to schedule their trip as well as look forward to their adventure. Not only will this help your attendees to plan, but it will allow you the opportunity to make reservations well in advance - getting you the best rates on flights. This is especially important when traveling with a large group. You cannot expect there to be room for 100 guests very many places at the last minute. It's important to give this retreat the time and attention it deserves. If you try to wing it, your employees will feel it. Instead show them how important they are to you by planning each detail ahead of time.
4. OUTSIDE THE CITY
The closer to the city center, the more expensive it is. If budget is one of your concerns go as far away from the big cities as possible. Choose a venue a bit further from the airport and away from a larger town. This will benefit your budget as well as lead you towards a hidden gem in the countryside. Being in a small town surrounded by nature will reduce distractions and keep your team together which will only add to the team building experience.
Most destinations have a peak tourist season when the price doubles or even triples. Instead of hosting your retreat in the middle of the busy and sweaty tourist season try booking some time in the off-season. This will save you a lot of money as well as save your group from being overwhelmed by the crowds of tourists. Your team will be able to focus more on themselves when your accommodation is quieter.
Pick a destination that will offer up a range of free activities in nature; such as hiking, biking, meditation or walking tours. When employees are out of the office and spending more time in the great outdoors it promotes creativity, relaxation and well-being. As a bonus your excursions and activities cost will be minimal.
Having some unstructured free time is just as important as the work you'll be doing. Give some time for your attendees to see the sights, shop or visit the local cafe and it will pay off in the boardroom later. Some employees may begin to feel overwhelmed, especially if your entire company is staying in close quarters. This downtime will allow people the opportunity to do their own thing to unwind. Don't worry about anyone 'wasting' time - it's actually a great chance for some unstructured team building since many people will do things together and forge new friendships that will carry over to the office.
Teammates work better when they create relationships and have shared mindsets. This is how people develop empathy and it's what keeps everyone going when things get tough so bringing your whole company together in one place just makes sense. So what’s stopping you from planning and hosting your own corporate retreat? Let us know if we can help you design your ideal retreat here at Ristonchi Castle in Tuscany, Italy.