Work has an emotional pull that keeps people checking their emails and worrying about work even when they’re supposed to be resting. In the midst of all this stress, it’s becoming clear that taking a real break is as good for business and for the employees who operate it.
Retreats let everyone reflect
When every day is the same, creativity suffers. Taking time to reflect not only refreshes you physically, but it also frees your mind to be creative. It’s not at all uncommon for a business to have certain habits for no better reason than “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
By taking serious time to reflect, you and your employees have a chance to step back and ask the hard questions. Reflection is a chance to think about the why and how. Why do you do things the way you do? How can you find a sales lead that will actually pay off or become more efficient about accomplishing routine tasks?
How to make it happen
Whatever type of retreat you plan for your employees, don’t forget to include time for reflection. This can be structured or unstructured, but it helps if you give prompts so that everyone can think clearly. Here are some questions you might consider asking:
- Has the business been living up to its core values this month?
- How are the employees showing respect to the customers?
- How is the team showing respect to one another?
- Is the team making a positive impact on the world?
- Is the business structure empowering you to use your time and skills wisely?
You might be surprised at what you find out and how it could change your company for the better.
Retreats communicate how much you value your employees
If your people think that the only thing you care about them is the amount of work you can get out of them, they will carry this “look out for #1” mentality with them. It will eventually bleed over into what they do so that their work life becomes all about looking after themselves.
Show them that’s not the way you do business and they’ll respond. Being generous is always more productive than being harsh. This doesn’t mean you let people slack off or ignore poor work. Instead, it translates to you showing how much you care through generosity.
How to make it happen
You can stay within a budget on a company retreat without making everyone feel uncomfortable because you’ve advertised the fact. You’ll get further with your employees if you’re honest and upfront from the beginning. If you are very clear in your invitation, no one will have unrealistic expectations.
It’s also smart to book retreats where everything is included in the total price, like a sunset cruise along West Palm Beach. This doesn’t just save you money over paying separately for each item. It also allows people to enjoy themselves without having to think about money or wonder if they should be feeling guilty.
Retreats help everyone focus
Life and work can be monotonous. The proof of this is in studies that show how less time on the job can actually lead to more productivity. When people take time off, they return with a renewed focus and more emotional strength to give their job.
For the average employer, it might seem counterproductive to give people time off in order to get more, but study after study proves that it works. Your retreat could end up putting a fire under everyone to want to work even harder.
Forget the annual retreat routine and learn about your own people. Get to know them as individuals and the vibe of the office as a whole. If you have a relationship with everyone, you’ll be able to sense when they need a break to re-focus. Find out when most people are taking vacation time and plan your retreat for a completely different time in order to maximize the re-focusing, refreshing, and reflective benefits of a company retreat.