15 Mar Getting Your Money’s Worth Out of a Company Retreat
Company retreats can cost enormous amounts of time and money. Are they worth it? Sometimes. Large-scale get-togethers can involve considerable out-of-pocket costs, and if the retreat is poorly planned or executed, participants’ wasted time is the biggest expense.
A properly budgeted, planned, and executed retreat can be hugely profitable, producing fresh ideas, renewed enthusiasm, and heightened employee morale. Here are a few ways to get your money’s worth out of a company retreat.
Create specific objectives
First, nail down your goals and objectives. Several months ahead of time, determine and prioritize a list of the important issues you want to address, but include only the top two or three on the final agenda. Otherwise, you risk rushing through some items without adequate time for discussion and formalized action plans.
If one of the objectives is to include time for socializing, recreation, or relaxation, great. Mixing fun with work keeps people energized. However, if staff see the retreat as merely time away from the office to party and golf, do not expect to complete many work-related agenda items. One successful way to mix work and pleasure is to schedule work sessions for the morning and more fun, team-building exercises later in the day.
Set limits, allow flexibility
Next, work on the budget. Determining available resources early in the planning process will help you set limits for such variable costs as location, accommodations, food, transportation, speakers, and entertainment.
Instead of insisting on certain days for the retreat, select a range of possible dates. This openness helps with site selection and makes it easier to negotiate favorable hotel and travel rates. Keep your budget as flexible as possible, building in a 5-10 percent safety cushion. Always expect unforeseen, last-minute expenses.
Company retreats are serious business in the sense that you are sacrificing time and productivity to identify strategic goals and improve teamwork, but these events should still be fun experiences for you and your staff. We can help you establish a reasonable budget to help ensure an enjoyable, productive, and cost-effective retreat.