5 Elements of a Successful Company Retreat

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Company retreats aren’t supposed to feel like work, but it’s rare that they feel like organic social gatherings. While it’s easy to complain about retreats, they’re finicky to get right.

If you happen to find yourself in charge of planning a work outing, read on for a list of the most important elements of a successful company retreat below.

  • The right venue. Nobody wants to spend their evening, weekend, or vacation time at work, which is why it’s so important that a company retreat takes place outside of the office. Not many companies will have the coin to fly their staff out for a beach vacation, but just convening outside of the usual workplace can go a long way. There’s a reason work cliques go out for drinks, and a company retreat can offer a similar effect: once you’re out of your shared work space, coworkers can shed work worries momentarily and bond more organically.
  • Comfort. A company retreat should be at least a little enticing, not something you fret and grown over. The venue for a company retreat doesn’t have to be a resort or an extravagant getaway, but people should feel both literally and figuratively comfortable.
  • Networking. Generally we think of company retreats as an occasion where we’ll know everyone, but at big corporations, a retreat can be a place to meet staff-members you might not usually cross paths with. For that reason, retreats can be wonderful networking opportunities. Especially since a company retreat potentially convenes higher ups you’ve never met before they set a stage for good performance.
  • Team-building. If anything, company retreats are cliched contexts for rote team-building exercises. But at their best, retreats help strengthen work relationships organically, even if you end up awkwardly passing an orange around a circle with just your necks.
  • Setting new shared goals. Even if they’re fun, company retreats are, after all, an extension of work. Even if you don’t end up getting into the nitty-gritty details of everyday work, a retreat can help a small team or entire organization double down on a shared work goal.
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Jay is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer and music journalist.

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