Business retreats can be an extremely valuable time for both employees and leadership alike. Following this advice will help ensure that you plan a retreat that uses time efficiently and encourages participation.

Have a Goal in Mind

Plan your business retreat with a specific goal in mind. Many companies have retreats to solve problems that can’t be covered thoroughly in a typical meeting. Others choose to have retreats to develop a new strategy, or simply as a time for employees to relax and connect with each other. It’s important to tailor your retreat to your goal. Each goal will lead to different priorities and activities.

Choose the Location

The environment will greatly influence your business retreat. Ideally, you want to choose a location that will encourage employees to have fun, but also not be too distracting from the work that needs to be done. It’s important to make sure that your team is out of their normal environment to help boost their creativity.

Get Out of the Office

Make sure your location doesn’t just feel like another office. After all, what’s the point of planning a corporate retreat away from your home office if employees feel like they’re just back at work? Many retreats take place in a conference room, but everyone will find any meetings more fun and effective if you spend them in a different environment.

Leave Some Time Unstructured

Provide your employees with some time to take breaks and relax. It can be tempting to have every hour accounted for because you want to make the most of your time! Even if you’re able to speed through many different agenda objectives, your employees won’t feel connected and refreshed without some down time.

Encourage Relationship Building

Having everyone together in the same place is valuable, especially if your company has employees who work remotely, or don’t come into the office very often. Retreats are a great way for employees to learn about all the moving parts of an organization by speaking to people outside of their department. Encourage your employees to build relationships by setting aside some time for establishing relationships. These activities don’t have to require a lot of time. They could be as simple as answering ice-breaker questions before beginning a session.

By planning your retreat around a specific goal and encouraging your employees to interact and solve problems, your business retreat will be a successful time for problem solving.