Out of Office: How to Get Most Out of Your Corporate Getaways
Whether it’s a team-building activity or luxury escape you’re seeking for your next company getaway, there are some impressive options available for getting away from the office as a company. It makes sense to want to get the most out of having your entire team in one place for more than just a workday. Wether your company is big or small, corporate trips will energize your team, encourage cross-departmental collaboration and strengthen internal bonds. Our event agency has some tips for you to fully benefit from your corporate getaway.
1. IDENTIFY CLEAR GOALS
In most cases, you organize a corporate getaway with an objective in mind. You want your team to become closer, you want to develop a certain skill or you want to thank your team. If you've identified your objective already - great, but don't forget to come up with a way to measure success. Employers tend to go with their gut feeling here, while in reality you can really benefit from setting clear standards.
Your goals could be:
- A chance for telecommuters or those who live outside the area to reconnect;
- Have more effective communication between departments;
- Define a new strategic direction for the company;
- Engage in a planning process that involves all units of the company.
Ways to measure this could be:
- A poll before and after the trip;
- Feedback cards;
- Measure difference in output on the job.
2. CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION WISELY
Not every location is suitable for a team getaway or corporate retreat. Once you have identified your goals, make sure the location and lodging matches them. You don't want to end up in a retreat in Tahiti where going for a swim is the main- and only activity, while in reality all you've wanted was for your team to work on teambuilding.
Take the following in mind when selecting a location:
- A place should be able to accommodate a team of your size;
- Should fit well into your budget (both the accommodation and flight costs);
- Have an array of activity options;
- Be safe for your teammates and any family members that might come along;
- Should have a suitable climate.
Recommended locations in Europe:
- Barcelona: Where you could combine the benefits of being in a city with relaxing beach activities;
- Stockholm: A wonderful city for your team to go to in the warmer months;
- Lisbon: Where city, beach and culture emerge.
3. DON'T SPEND A FORTUNE
... when you don't have to. There are many options to work on for instance teambuilding close to home. If you get a bit creative, your city probably has enough options available. Let's take Amsterdam and its' beautiful Vondelpark as an example. Parks are great for team building activities.
You can for instance play the Game of Possibilities to work on your team's creativity. This is a great 5-minute team building game. Give an object to one person in each group. One at a time, someone has to go up in front of the group and demonstrate a use for that object. The rest of the team must guess what the player is demonstrating. The demonstrator cannot speak, and demonstrations must be original, possibly wacky, ideas. Another option is a Scavenger hunt to break up office cliques. Break the group into teams of two or more. Make a list of goofy tasks for each team to do as a group. Tasks can include taking a selfie with a stranger, taking a picture of a building or object around the office, etc. Give the list to each team, along with a deadline by which they must complete all tasks. Whoever completes the most tasks the quickest, wins! (You can even create your own point system according to task difficulty if you want!) Finally, you could play a game of Nightmare Cards to work on each department's biggest fear. You separate everyone into groups and employees write down their worst department or industry-related nightmares. By doing this exercise, people are able to openly discuss their fears and stressors while having the support of their team. This not only helps create an action plan to solve these fears but also the company can prepare for worst-case scenarios.
4. DO MAKE ACTIVITIES OPTIONAL
Finally, not everyone is excited for a 20km hike in the woods or a full day of beer tasting during a corporate retreat. It is ok to give your employees the opportunities to occasionally select what they like and skip what they don't like. The last thing you want are unhappy faces during a (costly) retreat. This makes the carefully planned activity more fun for the people who actually do want to join. A way to avoid this is to set out a poll among your team with different options to choose from before the trip takes place. The key for success in a corporate trip is to correctly balance activity, content and fun.