How To Plan A Team Building Retreat
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A team-building retreat is an excellent way to strengthen your workplace relationships. These interactive experiences typically involve exploring different themes, talking about what people in the group are passionate about, or doing activities that require collaboration.
It’s also a great way for employers to learn more about their employees’ personalities. They can use this information to better understand how to motivate them, and how they fit into the work environment.
Team building retreats usually include some type of activity every hour of the day. For example, there might be an outdoor activity like hiking or swimming, or tabletop games such as charades or connect-the-dots.
Some groups even have a competition where each participant gets a set amount of time to talk about something important to them, which then gives them the chance to interact with others around the table. This is called topic swapping.
Another fun event is role play. Each person picks one thing they know well and acts out that job for someone else who doesn’t know it very well. This helps to show the participants other skills they possess and how to relate to people outside of work.
There should be enough time between events to give everyone a chance to discuss the things they experienced during the previous session.
Choose a location that the team will enjoy
As mentioned earlier, planning a retreat is not limited to just the leader of the organization. Everyone in your organization should be involved!
The most important thing to consider when choosing where to hold the retreat is if the people attending will feel comfortable there. Make sure you check out the area thoroughly before deciding.
Will it look nice? Will it have good Wi-Fi? Does it seem safe or secure? These are all very important questions.
Make sure the surroundings are clean and quiet so everyone can focus without distractions.
Also, make sure the venue has adequate space for sharing ideas and talking. You do not want someone spending half their time trying to find a place to put their laptop because they ran out of room while brainstorming.
Convenience for attendees is also an important factor. Are buses or trains accessible from the venue? Is there nightlife close by or must participants bring their own?
After the retreat, does the hotel have easy access to public transportation so people can return home easily? This is very important as some may live far away and would like to stay in a nearby city after the event.
These things can affect how well the team connects afterwards.
Make sure there are enough bathrooms
While some people enjoy doing nothing but talking, others prefer to be more active. If you’re in the second group, then it is important to allow for this by having adequate numbers of restrooms at your retreat.
There will almost certainly be times when someone needs to go to the bathroom or even several people at once. You don’t want to make them face an awkward situation because there isn’t one available nearby.
You can also check out how popular each restaurant/cafe in the area is by looking up their reviews online before attending your next meeting.
By going through this process ahead of time, you’ll know what to do if something happens and you’ve got a plan B.
Plan to eat all of the meals
A team-building retreat is not just an opportunity for you to connect as individuals, it is also a chance to connect as a team. As such, most organizers will plan at least one full meal during the retreat. This can be difficult to do when you are travelling from place to place or have limited access to food while on vacation.
If you are in this situation, don’t worry! There are ways to avoid having to pay too much for food. Most major hotels offer their guests the cost of a dinner buffet as part of their room rate. If there is even a small gathering after the retreat, this usually covers enough food for everyone involved!
Another option is to find local restaurants that are known for giving good value food. Many people enjoy visiting these places because they know what kind of quality food they get for the price.
Make it clear what you expect from team members
As mentioned earlier, team-building retreats can be expensive if not planned properly. If there is no clarity about what participants should bring to the event or who will do what, then people may not feel motivated to come.
Making sure that everyone on your team knows their responsibilities at this event is an important part of ensuring success. This includes knowing what kind of time they are expected to spend attending events, how much money they should budget for food, etc.
It’s also helpful to know what kind of activities individuals in your team like to participate in and whether or not they are experienced in doing them before bringing them into the mix during the team build event.
Confirm with team members what their schedule looks like
As mentioned earlier, confirming each other’s availability can help ensure you don’t overbook and overload people. Make sure everyone knows about the retreat at least two weeks in advance so they have time to prepare!
Planning a team-building event requires some additional steps beyond just inviting people and meeting them for the first time. This includes planning the venue, logistics (like transportation!), food, and decorations if needed.
Tell all of your coworkers
As with any team-building activity, planning a retreat is mostly about getting people on board. You’ll want to be clear about what things need to happen for it to go as planned so that nobody gets in the way or sabotages the event.
This can sometimes be tricky since not everyone feels like they are part of the team yet!
Tell your colleagues at the least that you have a team retreat coming up and ask if anyone would like to attend and/or help organize it. If someone says yes, great! They are now involved and informed.
If no one responds, don’t worry about it too much but do keep in touch with them outside of work. It may just require some gentle prodding before they eventually say “yes.”
Try asking whether there is anything else they would like to contribute or learn during the next few weeks.
Tell your partner everything
When planning a team retreat, there are two major things you must tell you're significant other before confirming the date. First, make sure his or her name is listed as an attendee on the trip registration site!
This will help ensure that person can go if they want to join you on vacation later. If you’re not sure if someone can go, ask – we recommend doing it as soon as possible so people have time to say yes or no.
The second thing you should confirm is whether this event requires attendance in person. Some events require only online participation, but most need at least one participant attending in person to feel like part of the group.
It’s important to be clear about this ahead of time because some activities may not happen unless everyone is present.
Tell your kids everything
As mentioned earlier, team-building retreats can be expensive if you are not prepared. This is typically due to the cost of transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.
As parents, there’s an easy solution to this- tell your kids everything! By sharing all important things about yourself, they will feel more connected to you as people and professionals.
This way, they won’t need to ask how you got where you are today – they know it from direct experiences. Plus, they’ll learn something new every time you talk about work or life.
Your kids also have a right to know what kind of person you are outside of being their parent. While in school, some may already have seen a side of you, yours may be more exposed now.