10 Reasons to Retreat in 2017 – by Mary Eden
Did you know that a well organised company retreat with outstanding facilitators can have a transformational effect on your company?
When people get together in a different environment, sharing a common goal, they develop a unique relationship. They will reveal and learn things about themselves and each other that cannot be discovered in an office environment.
They come back empowered, energised and ready to tackle any challenge.
Company retreats should be a core element of your culture, as the advantages far outweigh the cost of the retreat. Not only do they improve teamwork and moral, but a great retreat will result in an increase in productivity and staff retention.
“It’s an investment in the business that can have a powerful and lasting impact throughout the year. A motivated and unified team that understands each other’s strengths is more productive and loyal.”
Mat East, CEO & Managing Director of Sparks.
Here are 10 reasons to retreat…
1. Fresh perspectives
Sometimes we need other surroundings and people to help us see things in a new light. Not only are the different backdrops feeding our creativity but the interaction with other people – our facilitators, colleagues, other travellers and locals – can show us different ways to go about things. They will open our eyes to other possibilities and encourage us to think outside the box.
2. Reveals hidden talents
This is the chance for your team to leave their professional side in the office, unwind and start being themselves. And this is when hidden talents surface – skills that can be utilised in the workplace to better the company. On our Strengths retreats to Thailand we take everyone through the full Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment to discover their unique strengths. These strengths will then be discussed and developed during the retreat.
3. Overcome challenges
Every so often we need to break out of our comfort zone to move forward and avoid the risk of becoming stagnated. A retreat takes us away from everything we know and throws us into diverse situations that call on different skills. People start to recognise limiting mindsets, and through the help of our retreat facilitators will learn to overcome them.
4. Improved communication
Not only does a retreat improve communication between colleagues, but it forces people to learn how to communicate in creative ways to overcome language barriers and cultural differences. Our retreats ensure that everyone has a voice and is given the chance to share concerns and ideas.
5. Development through equality
On a retreat all the participants are equal and rely on each other in different ways to how they would back in the office. People that are not normally involved in decision-making processes at work suddenly have to set goals and make choices that may affect the entire team. This sharing of responsibilities helps to promote both personal and team development.
6. Stronger trust and collaboration
Spending entire days and nights together brings people so much closer. People who don’t normally work together are suddenly able to understand about each other’s roles and their perspective of the company. They will find ways to use their own personal skills and strengths to help each other, therefore establishing bonds, building up trust and improving collaboration.
7. Increased productivity
The overall sense of achievement that is gained from a retreat is extremely beneficial for morale. Getting your team excited and renewed will bring fresh ideas and energy back to their departments. Working together and understanding each other’s duties will help a company to get more done – and faster.
8. Better clarity and communication
Getting out from behind a desk and into the big outdoors can have a profound effect. Inhaling deeper, longer breaths of fresh air leads to greater energy, concentration and clarity of mind. We find our outdoor brainstorming sessions to be extremely fruitful and effective when people are relaxed and in a different frame of mind.
Exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress; and releases endorphins which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. In addition, getting sweaty increases the production of cells responsible for memory and learning.
Our retreats combine lots of fun outdoor activities with group training, individual coaching, and deep personal reflection.
It’s very rare for anyone’s job not to have at least some levels of stress. One of the best ways to remove stress is a new environment. Having fun also stimulates creative thinking, which can improve productivity. Happy employees are more likely to stay and grow within your organisation. What better reason to let go and learn to laugh again!
So get some sand between your toes, breathe in some crisp cool air and then reap in the benefits…