You’re a remote team leader or business owner and you are debating the merits of a company retreat. How great would it be to get everybody together in real-time to work and play together as a team! But how do you justify the investment and quantify the success of a retreat? Since there is no direct way to measure a return on investment financially, we have to look deeper.
Being part of a remote team can often times feel isolated and lonely. Team members can begin to lose connection to their fellow team members as well as lose connection with themselves. The absence of a strong sense of camaraderie can weaken company loyalty and create less productive, less effective employees. A great way to counteract this disconnect is through company retreats.
Retreats are a great way for remote teams to build a solid foundation of commitment, community, and creativity which cultivate a high-performing company culture.
“Having friends at work increases commitment to the company. Our engagement, trust in leaders, satisfaction, and intent to stay hinge on having friends at work. The more friends we have, the more committed we become to our companies.” (source)
Hosting a retreat provides the opportunity for new, shared experiences. Not only can this engagement stimulate creativity and productivity, but it can also increase intra-team bonds and trust.
Marty Imes from Culture Stoke shares “If you want to be happier, reach a higher level of success, and make a positive difference in the lives of others, building a positive, people-focused company culture is a must.” (source)
You can host local or destination retreats. Although local retreats seem economical, there are significant intangible benefits to a destination retreat. Remember, too, that the money you save in reduced office space can be directed towards retreats which boost morale, community, loyalty, and often improved work product.
Teams that travel together get to know each other while on retreat; these interpersonal connections improve the team members’ quality of life. Relationships at work impact 89% of employees quality of life (source).
Destination retreats to another country expand the horizons of your employees even further:
"[R]ecalling a multicultural learning experience: (a) facilitates idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways), and (b) increases awareness of underlying connections and associations...Overall, multicultural learning appears to be an important mechanism by which foreign living experiences lead to creative enhancement." (source)
"Cross-cultural experiences have the potential to strengthen a person’s sense of self....'We found that when people had experiences traveling to other countries it increased what’s called generalized trust, or their general faith in humanity...When we engage in other cultures, we start to have experiences with different people and recognize that most people treat you in similar ways. That produces an increase in trust.' ...Sometimes all that’s needed for a creative boost is a fresh cultural scene." (source)
Some of the most successful companies out there offer their team amazing perks
such as paid sabbaticals, travel bonuses, and company vacations -- oh and free helicopter
rides too! (source) These perks are offered to produce a positive company culture.
Before you dismiss the expense of a company retreat, you should assess your current work climate: employee satisfaction, turnover rate, productivity, recent innovations, et. al. If you invest in a retreat (a stress-free environment) for your employees where you can celebrate their contributions and reward their successes with new experiences and perspectives, how might this endeavor improve your business goals? Isn’t it worth a try?
Company retreats offer a stress-free environment that allows for organic team bonding.
Applift COO, Stefan Bandorf shares, "While it's not easy to measure the ROI, we believe that the indicator for success is marked by how we incorporate the learnings and projects into everyone's day-to-day at the office." (source)
“Happy employees in a healthy work environment produce better work. Harvard Business Review reports, according to research by the Gallup Organization, that companies with low employee engagement showed lower productivity, profitability and job growth over time, than those companies with highly engaged employees. To put it simply, the time and money you invest in your employees’ well-being has a proven return on investment.” (source)
Retreats are not only good for the employees, but they are good for the business. Connect with your remote team in person to improve your team as a whole!
Rebel + Connect creates custom retreats for remote teams. A Colorado based company owned and operated by Rachel McGehee and Summer Weirich, we operate remotely and service clients from all over the globe. Join us as we create cultures of meaning and celebrate human connections in a digital world!
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