Luxury Corporate Retreats:
Frequently Asked Questions
A company retreat is exactly what it sounds like. Depending on the size of the company, you could be seeing the entire staff complement be present or you could have a situation where a subset of the company attends.
This often depends on the intent of the retreat and the stakeholders who will be necessary. For example, you often find that retreats are strategic at either the C-suite or departmental levels, which will mean that the people who you will likely see fall under one of those two categories.
With this in mind, you can't necessarily attribute a usual number of people to a company retreat.
Not at all! Many companies will choose a local location because of time and budget constraints. Going somewhere in your own region will undoubtedly be a lot less taxing from the time perspective.
As far as the budget goes, even if a company is not in a tough financial spot, everyone knows that businesses aim to make a profit. Therefore, there will usually be a strategic decision to stay away from any unnecessary expenses that could lead to any kind of loss situation.
Nevertheless, there are some firms, especially when the retreat is at the C-suite level that will splurge a bit on the occasion. For example, the destination may be a tropical getaway and the accommodations will often be along the lines of a luxury resort with a private pool, full-service spa, all-inclusive elements, and more.
Don't be surprised if there is a private island in the mix depending on the company in question. At the end of the day, the goal is to have a relaxed setting away from the company office that is conducive to necessary discussions to plan the way forward.
Of course, regardless of the extent of the options available, this is not the kind of decision that should ever be made lightly. Here are some of the elements you want to think about as you consider an appropriate locale:
- The cost implications of going to the area. For example, if your business is located in Pittsburgh, it may be a lot less expensive to choose a location in Pennsylvania, than Costa Rica, Jamaica, or anywhere else that may be in the vicinity of the Caribbean Sea.
- What the pool of potential activities available will look like. While it is true that the value of a corporate retreat comes in the extent to which adequate discussions can be had and decisions made about business affairs, there will be an element of fun involved, which is what allows the team members to feel relaxed. Try to find out what kind of team bonding elements will be present at the location.
- The kind of discussions to be had. Depending on where you go, there may be provisions that need to be made to have the appropriate visual aids, for example. You will want to ensure that you don't end up going on a trip only to find out that there are 10 PowerPoint presentations and there is no projector in sight.
Undoubtedly, the experiences that team members go through in an office setting will lead to the formation of bonds and improve strength as a unit. What you often find is that whenever a more casual setting is presented without the demands and stressful environment of the office, the mental associations with work that are often negative go away.
This gives rise to a mindset that is more responsive to fun and engagement. Of course, since other co-workers will be present as this is happening, you create a situation where there will be a new mental association between colleagues and positive experiences.
One could say that this is an oversimplified way of looking at it, but this is essentially why team-building activities at retreats are often a huge hit. There are even team-building retreats that are often set up just to achieve this kind of outcome!
Corporate retreats represent a unique opportunity to engage in fun activities with those whom you may work. The good thing about this kind of situation is that there's usually an extent of exercisable control where this is concerned, which means tailoring these activities becomes possible.
Therefore, you don't exactly have a set of cookie-cutter activities. However, you may find some of the following happening:
- Horseback riding
- Golf course tackling
- Hot tub relaxation
- Large restaurant reservations
- Fly fishing
- Working out in the fitness center
Whenever luxury resorts are in the mix, the natural surroundings can be highly distracting which can present challenges in sticking to the mission. Therefore, it becomes critical to have a certain level of accountability throughout the team to keep on track. The CEO can't spend the whole day in the lagoon-style infinity pool!
Alternatively, you can experience challenges if there isn't a clear definition of what the mission objectives are and how exactly you will go about having the discussions and making the decisions necessary. A disorganized approach will see a lot of time being wasted with not many, if any solutions, coming out of the proceedings.
Note, however, that with directed coaching involved, it becomes a much more reliable method. For example, companies tend to see an ROI of several to many multiples of their investment when they use coaching services. At the lower end, they will often recover at least their initial investment.
This is likely a direct result of the personal development benefits that coaching brings. Remember that the method aims to change the behavioral patterns at the individual level to foster positive and progressive ones. After all, 80% of coachees report an improved self following the process.
Typically, if the company has the capabilities to afford an overseas trip, then tropical destinations come highly recommended. For example:
- Montego Bay in Jamaica
- Cabo San Lucas in Mexico
- Varadero in Cuba
- San Juan in Puerto Rico
- San Jose in Costa Rica
- Tulum, Mexico
You can't beat these and many of their counterparts, which is why they are so highly recognized for the influx of tourism their attractions bring. Tulum, Mexico, for example, not only has the expected relaxing and beautiful beaches, but it also features a very well-preserved set of Mayan ruins.
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