A couple of weeks ago, we posted a blog about incorporating team building activities when planning your next company retreat. We received some follow up questions about choosing a location. In this blog, we are going to answer those questions and give you some tips on planning the menu and even a few aspects you probably haven’t considered.
When scheduling a retreat for our clients, the very first thing we do is set a date. We avoid weeks where there is a major holiday, company deadlines, or other important dates where employees may be tied up with major responsibilities or out of the office. Once you’ve determined the date, you should reserve the retreat location. We recommend an offsite location to get your employees away from their phones and computers. Hotel conference rooms are usually a perfect option. When selecting a location, you need to ensure it is an appropriate size for your group. You don’t want a location that is too big as it may encourage employees to sit far apart and not engage in conversation. Of course, you want to make sure the location is not too small either. Aim for somewhere in between.
Next, assess the parking situation. You should make sure there is adequate parking, and that anyone with a disability can easily access the building. This includes making sure there are no events in the proximity of the retreat location that will hinder employees from arriving on time. For example, be sure there are no festivals, concerts, or other large events that will clog up traffic on the same day and time. If you find this to be the case, you may want to encourage carpooling or find a new location.
The next thing to keep in mind is dietary needs. This tip is important for any size group. If you plan to cater your retreat, you should be aware of individual dietary needs such as someone being vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free. In some cases, you may want to eliminate a food group all together. For example, if there is a person in the group that is allergic to shellfish, I advise you to eliminate that food group off the menu. This could save you from a disastrous event.
Implementing these tips will help you get started in planning a memorable experience for your employees. For a comprehensive retreat planning checklist, click here.