The ultimate guide to running and planning a team retreat for your company.
Decelerate to accelerate. Ideal for remote teams and corporate get aways.
How should you plan or structure your team retreat to make it successful? Here's 8 simple steps.
Step 1. PLAN, PLAN and PLAN.
It doesn’t need to be over the top but getting clear on your goals, vision and objectives is vital before you start looking at where this thing is going to take place. An example of a goal might be to improve the team culture or those human relationships that are not possible whilst working fully remotely. So make sure your retreat will allow for a lot of human interactions.
Step 2. Budget
Once you’ve nailed your goals. Set a budget. Per person per night. This can be a simple way to figure out what you're going to cover. Are you going to assist with travel if your team is remote? Are you going to feed everyone and take them partying? Take all of these things into consideration.
Step 3. Start to research the perfect location
Find and decide on the location. How easy is it to get to? How much travel will be required? Where are people coming from?
Step 4. The venue
Is it just a meeting space for a day? Are you staying somewhere for a week? A month? Think about what's important for the length of stay at your location. How does the architecture of a place facilitate interactions?
Step 5. Feed yourselves
How are you guys going to eat and drink. Are you near restaurants? Is a private chef an option?
Step 6. Build the team and bond
A team retreat is designed to bring people closer. What activities can you do to connect people? Surfing is an epic one. Just sayin'
Step 7. Get some work done.
Whether it’s daily tasks or the new vision for the future. Plan your workspace and work sessions and make sure this is all going to fly.
Step 8. Communicate effectively
Set up a group Whatsapp or slack channel. Things change people drop out, flights get delayed. Keep everything in a nicely organized spot. Invite the location owner into this chat so you can ask questions directly and save everyone time.
The ultimate guide to hosting a retreat - for the venues.
How should you host a retreat successfully?
Step 1. Align with your passions, priorities and motivations.
Be honest about what inspires you and your location. People love people. People love honest people living their best most aligned lives. Know what you love. What kind of retreat setting can you offer? How involved do you want to be? Do you love cooking and want to share that with everyone? Do you run yoga, surfing or meditation classes that people would enjoy? Do you want a hands off approach and to be purely a logistical facilitator? Get clear about your intentions, this will influence what kind of retreats you should host and how you should position yourself.
Step 2. Communicate well and rapidly.
Communicate answer questions pre-emptively. When they have a question. Listen. Take on feedback. Make them feel like you've got this covered. Create a mini preview video for teams. Describe what teams can expect at the location. Offer a way to get in touch immediately for a video call if they want. People are often in a rush when they organize these things and it’s one of their 7 tasks at work. How can they get in touch with you quickly and easily? Organize a time with them for a video call if they want. Set up a calendly.
Step 3. Prepare and be ready
Be ready for a team retreat. Can your venue and staff cope with 20, 50, 100, 1000 people all arriving at once? How are you going to get everything in place? Can you extend capacity into surrounding accommodations? Are there any larger nearby spaces that might come in handy? Is this a regular occurrence that you're used to handling for things like weddings or is this all new to you?
Step 4. Set your availability
Are you open for team bookings all year? What do you want to offer and what is a no no?
Step 5. Clear and simple pricing and availability
We know it's a challenge to quote for teams and team sizes but have a think about how you can provide ball park figures. Be upfront about pricing. Save every motherfucker some time. You got group deals? Great display them. You got availability? Great. Plot it into the availability calendar. Are you only receptive to team bookings in certain months. Great be clear about that.
Step 6. ADD VALUE
Be helpful, organised and add value. What local connections and services can you easily arrange or organise for these teams. Create a FAQ of the most common questions people will have. Getting here, transport, food, drink, activities etc. Lean in and listen to their custom requirements, accommodate where possible but be clear and upfront about what is not possible and what will need a separate price or quote.
Step 7. Enjoy
We all only have one life. Time is the only thing we can't generate more of. Make their experience as special as possible and try to enjoy it yourself.