With the economy in a steady uptrend, companies once again realize that investing in the right kind of retreat is a proven business tool. Corporate group travel to resort locations continues to grow following the “AIG effect” — public outcry surrounding AIG’s 2008 lavish retreat taken just days after the insurance giant accepted $85 billion in federal bailouts.
Group business travel fell off dramatically during the recession and has been slower to rebound than individual business travel. Group retreat trips are now smaller, shorter and with much fuller agendas than before. But no one can dispute their effectiveness in bringing together “teammates” in the work environment.
The time away can help solve a specific company problem, explore new strategies, evaluate performance, or train in new areas. A corporate leader should also consider using a retreat for input, support, and creativity from their partners or employees.
A retreat’s self-contained nature reduces wasted time, and even cost-effective retreats without the fluff can be fun for employees. In the last couple years, corporate retreats have transformed into an important service for businesses by minimizing wastefulness while helping to generate long-term revenue.
Following are proven benefits for businesses:
- Retreats facilitate real friendships among employees. In an office environment there are often few shared interests among employees, which can prevent them from ever forming bonds. Time spent at a corporate retreat is an opportunity for people to connect through participation in common activities. This allows employees to get to know one another and laugh together.
- Retreats facilitates training. Any business success depends on having well-trained employees to get the job done effectively. The environment of a retreat develops team coordination, group problem-solving skills, and creativity. Skill-building training can also be used at a retreat as a way to focus in-office training throughout the rest of the year. While fun activities are essential to a great retreat, productive activities that apply to your business goals can help generate long-term revenue.
- Retreats boost morale. Retreats are not simply a vacation for the whole corporation, they are a place for employees to renew their excitement and enthusiasm for work. They can be held in beautiful outdoor environments that reduce stress and give people an opportunity to refresh their thinking and come back to work with a new drive. A successful retreat will leave employees more excited and productive when returning to work.
Done correctly, retreats can be an effective way for an organization to bring about positive change. Done poorly, however, and companies can end up with a wasted weekend and the possibility of worsening the mood and functionality in the office environment.
An investment in a company retreat is an investment that could pay huge dividends in the near future. Isn’t that what business is all about?