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How To Plan a Fun and Effective Corporate Offsite - 2022, 2023, and Beyond

After two long years of working during a pandemic, many companies are looking for ways to boost team morale and reconnect their teams for some much-needed bonding. The changing landscape of roles, new team members,...

After two long years of working during a pandemic, many companies are looking for ways to boost team morale and reconnect their teams for some much-needed bonding. The changing landscape of roles, new team members, and lack of clarity due to constant shifting within your company may have impacted your company culture. Now, as the risks of COVID-19 decrease and people begin to return to the office, it's the perfect time to start planning your next team offsite or retreat.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photograph: Reuters Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photograph: Reuters

Imagine the benefits of getting everyone away from their desks and connecting outside of Zoom and cloud-based collaboration tools. Combine that with fun team-building activities and dynamic planning sessions, and you'll experience numerous upsides!

Why Organize a Team Building Offsite?

The benefits of a team offsite are plentiful. Firstly, it's a chance for your employees to get away from their desks, providing a change of scenery and potentially getting outside the city. It's also an opportunity for your team to bond and work together to plan for the future.

Corporate Offsites: Glenn Elliott is Founder and CEO of Reward Gateway, the employee engagement specialist.

Some of the significant perks of hosting a corporate offsite event include:

Increased Employee Engagement

Remote working has left many employees feeling disconnected from their team members, job, and the company. An offsite provides a great opportunity to learn about your team members' interests, passions, and skillsets. It allows you to understand how they can best contribute to future projects. Utilize information-sharing, brainstorming, planning sessions, and fun team-building activities to build rapport and give everyone a chance to help drive the company or team's future projects and direction.

More Effective Planning

Company offsites provide uninterrupted time for focused planning, away from the distractions of daily life and business operations. Take a balcony view of your team and identify areas for improvement and growth. Without the need to attend back-to-back meetings and put out fires, you can focus on what matters most.

Dedicated Time To Recognize & Reward Efforts

Recognition and rewards drive employee engagement. Offsites are an excellent opportunity to show your employees how much you appreciate their contributions. Whether it's a simple gathering with food and drinks, a happy hour, a formal awards session, or a fun non-work activity, recognizing your team's efforts goes a long way in boosting morale.

Glenn Elliott, Founder & CEO, with employees - reward employees at company offsites

Time For Team Building

Team building activities happen every day on the job, but offsites provide an opportunity for targeted team-building activities. These activities help team members get to know each other, build rapport, communicate effectively, and solve challenges together. They also help develop specific skills like communication techniques or conflict resolution, making the team more efficient and productive on future projects.

9 Tips For Planning Your Next Team Offsite

Whether you're in the initial stages of planning or already underway, consider these tips to ensure a successful offsite that aligns with your company's employees and their new working culture.

1. Figure out your goals and objectives.

Before diving into the logistics, nail down your top three goals for the offsite. Do you want to focus on team communication, getting to know new team members, rewarding everyone for a recent project win, building new skills, or planning for a new strategic direction? Design your schedule around these goals.

2. Find a time that works for everyone.

Avoid scheduling the offsite during particularly busy weeks. Survey participants to determine the best time and lock it in early. If it's a multi-day event, give employees enough time to align schedules and make any necessary arrangements.

3. Location, location, location!

Consider a location that offers a change of environment from the usual working setup. Whether it's an offsite center, a different building, or a different city, choose a convenient location for everyone. It's crucial to balance costs, especially if people need to travel.

4. Involve your team in the planning.

Engage participants in the planning process to improve team coordination and collaboration. Assign tasks like organizing catering, arranging a guest speaker, or planning a team activity. This promotes a sense of responsibility and buy-in among the team.

Offsite Planning: Glenn Elliott is Founder and CEO of Reward Gateway, the employee engagement specialist.

5. Choose team-building activities that work for everyone.

Ensure the team-building activities cater to everyone's interests while addressing areas that need improvement. Avoid activities that exclude certain team members based on personal preferences. Consider a mix of mandatory and optional activities to ensure participation while allowing for personal choices.

6. Build some downtime into your schedule.

Allow for unstructured free time during the offsite. This gives everyone the opportunity to choose how they want to spend that time. Whether it's sightseeing, exercising, or socializing, individuals should have the freedom to decide how to use their downtime.

7. Make sure everyone is well-fed.

Food is essential for maintaining productivity and a positive atmosphere. Have snacks and beverages available between sessions and offer a variety of dishes to accommodate different preferences. If holding a remote retreat, consider arranging meals through delivery apps to simplify the process for participants.

8. Communicate your plans well in advance.

Over-communicate all the details of the offsite to avoid any surprises. Give ample notice about the offsite schedule, location, and general plan. Consider teaser events or informative sessions leading up to the offsite. Encourage questions and discussions to build excitement among the team.

9. Conduct a post-offsite survey.

After the offsite, gather feedback from the team through a survey. This shows that you value their input and helps improve future offsite planning and organization.

Planning a corporate offsite requires careful consideration of the team's needs and goals. By following these tips, you'll create an offsite experience that boosts morale, strengthens relationships, and aligns everyone towards company success. How are you and your team planning to spend your next corporate offsite?

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