Why Company Retreats are Valuable

Posted by Donna Parisi

design_1-14This week, Likeable Local was fortunate enough to escape the daily New York craze and spend some time together as friends and family on a lovely company retreat in Portland, Maine. It was a valuable experience that taught us all the importance of community building, transparency at work and the power of letting go.

After a 7 hour car ride while listening to Bohemian Rhapsody, I concluded that company retreats are crucial for any organization. Here's why: 

1. Community Building: Sometimes we're so enthralled with work that we hardly have time to talk to the people we spend most of our days with! It's crucial to learn about the people you work with 5 days a week, so stop thinking about work and focus on the people you're surrounded by. Engage with them.
Team-building activities can foster collaboration, promote creativity, build trust, ease conflicts and most importantly, create amazing memories among your team.

2. Transparency: Honesty, communication and respect are certainly the pillars to making things work. As a business, you want employee's to bond, to be heard, to be motivated, and most of all, to feel respected. Talk openly as a group about personal and professional aspirations, the mission and values of your company, how to better as a person and employee - and so on. This helps facilitate communication among everyone, especially if there are tensions, conflicts or misunderstandings.

3. Letting go: We all live in the digital era, and it's definitely a challenge for some to remain disconnected from work. In a retreat, you're literally off the grid... And it's amazing. Use this time to get to know your coworkers, kick back and relax, reevaluate what you are doing at work and how you can improve individually or as a team.

11898518_904246343003483_3339419151719996198_nOur lovely Likeable Local team

If you're thinking about having a company retreat, plan accordingly:

  • Think of your objectives! What type of retreat is this, is it about community building, strategic planning, a summer 'workation'?
  • What are your expectations? What do you want your employees to leave with after the retreat is over?
    Think of a location! Go off-site and pick a quiet outdoor place so you can shift away all the noise from work.
  • Is there a budget?
  • Schedule your trip. It helps keeping everyone in the loop of all the daily activities, whether it's for two days or 10 days.
  • What type of activities do you want? Plan social and outdoor activities that can foster trust and team building.
  • Finally: Celebrate your success! 

Each company is different, but try to base the direction of your retreat on your company's culture. Culture identifies you as a brand and as a company, it's the 'personality' of your company. Here at Likeable Local, one of our core values is 'Our Success is Your Success' and 'Our Work is Fun', and I am proud to say that our retreat was focused solely on how we could improve for all our amazing customers and still have an unforgettable time as a team.

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