Let’s just cut to the real question: Why should leadership invest in a retreat?
The quick answer is, they shouldn’t - unless it is going to be a meaningful experience for everyone with well-defined outcomes.
The deeper answer is this: We live in an incredibly busy culture and work environment. This busyness means that lots of things get done. It also means that lots of things get left undone. Important conversations get put on the back burner. Things expressed in yesterday’s conflict get overtaken by today’s crisis or new deadline. Expectations become ignored or dismissed. We lose track of why we’re doing this work.
And, as the old Irish saying goes, “Expectation is just resentment waiting to happen!” The workplace begins to feel stressful, uninspiring, and even pocked with negative conflict. It’s exhausting.
Enter the definition of “retreat:” a quiet or secluded place in which a group of people can reset and think clearly.
Doesn’t that sound like more than just a feel-good mini-vacay with your work peers? There is deep value in “reset,” taking a step back and asking: “How did we get to this point?” and then “Where do we go from here?” There is clarity that comes from asking these questions and finding the answers together. It takes patience, persistence and a willingness to press pause.
Not just another extended business meeting…
These kinds of results just don’t happen in an everyday workplace setting, nor by simply changing the location. The real ROI happens when retreats are meaningfully planned and facilitated.
The rewards? New ideas and insights, a greater appreciation of each other’s contributions, clarity about what each person needs in order to do their work, the challenges they face and the barriers getting in the way of shared goals. And renewed enthusiasm for the organization’s mission.
"Why" at a glance:
- Recharge the team; reset the good feeling
- Reduce stress and have fun together
- Increase engagement, motivation and morale
- Uncover new ideas and rediscover passions
- Build trust, collaboration and teamwork
- Celebrate successes; learn from failures
- Re-activate alignment with the organization’s mission and core values
- Learn new skills; modify KPIs
- Plan, create agreements and launch action
Not convinced yet? Some supporting data...
There is an impressive body of research on the importance of employee engagement. Here are just a few statistics:
Increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year (Source: Workplace Research Foundation).
The keys to better employee engagement - and high-performing teams - are found in the individual’s sense of being heard, appreciated, and contributing constructively to something important. To feel that their work means something and their ideas matter. They want to feel inspired by an environment in which teams are working together to achieve common goals.
How do we start to create a retreat worth attending?
Begin by considering these questions:
What are the goals/objectives we want to achieve as a result of this retreat?
What opportunities and problems exist that make people want to meet now?
What does the group need to accomplish to make the retreat a success?
How will we determine what the entire group needs?
How important is getting pre-retreat input from everyone who will meet?
Who will attend the retreat?
Are there past meeting agendas for this group that can be learned from?
What will be the general retreat agenda and schedule?
What will be the facilitator’s role?
What are the next steps in this planning process?
Consider outside support
Creating a retreat worth attending requires several moving parts to come together, and there are various types, venues, activities, and costs to consider. Working with experienced planners and facilitators assures time-worthy, cost-effective success.
What would you like to know about building your organization’s retreat? schedule a conversation with us.
Like to find out more? Visit our Retreats Page here.