Corporate retreats can be of any type, such as a sport retreat, or a seminar-style retreat. They are to promote a feeling of teamwork and to build a better understanding among company employees. Corporate retreats can also help employees gain some problem-solving skills that lead to better teamwork and better overall productivity. These team-building activities focus on events where everyone has to work together to reach a common goal. The examples are river rafting, rock climbing, mountain climbing, everyone hiking blindfolded while holding on the same rope, team scavenger hunts, friendly competitions between company departments, etc. Corporate retreats can be customized to fit the company’s need. They can make the employees learn about what the temporary retreat goals are, as well as the long-term results that the company is striving for.
Why corporate retreats can increase productivity? This is because organizations can derive some valuable skills from corporate retreats. These skills include team spirit, problem-solving, leadership, innovation and creativity.
- Team Spirit: Corporate retreats promote a feeling of teamwork among company employees. For example, a company organized a corporate retreat where the employees had to build a bridge out of boxes and unstable wooden planks. The employees are working towards a common goal which is building a bridge. This will get them to see the power of acting like a team. They will be able to understand success in each activity depends more on teamwork than individual effort. Under the pressure of reaching a difficult goal, each individual undergoes rapid growth. This growth occurs in group efforts then enhancing the relationships between employees. Employees become connected by shared experience. They share commitment and help form one another. Trust can also be built through corporate retreats.
- Problem-solving: The second skill gained from corporate retreats is about problem-solving. Take rock climbing as the example. Rock-climbing is a problem-solving in the vertical world. We can see varying degrees of linear thinking skills, pre-planning skills, impulsivity vs. thoughtfulness, decision-making skills, focus and concentration, frustration, tolerance, self-confidence vs. insecurity, introversion vs. extroversion, emotional ability, risk-taking vs. caution, and the list goes on. Rock climbing offers the added mental element of continuous problem-solving in the midst of a physical workout. The climbers attempt to ascend a selected route without falling. Through rock climbing, they can be trained on those skills.
- Leadership: Through corporate retreats like mountain climbing, rock climbing, river rafting, etc. individuals gain an awareness of faith in their own ability to lead and follow. They have opportunities to test their ability in critical group decision-making and thereby become more confident leaders. Besides, team building events often allow people who are not usually in charge at work to take the reins and direct their teams. This can not only help them work on their leadership skills but also give them a better understanding of what it means to be a leader. The result of this is that they can have a better understanding of their superior’s working situations. They can also aid communication channels within the workforce.
- Innovation and Creativity: Another skill derived from corporate retreat is innovation and creativity. Employees are more able to think out of the box outside the working environment. In outdoor settings, they are taken out of their ‘comfort zone’ and immerse in a changing environment. By handling new circumstances, team learns to turn problems into opportunities for success. Each challenge mastered is a satisfying achievement that prepares them for even more opportunities. Besides, some team-building activities may require innovation and creativity. Like previous example, company’s corporate retreat is about building a bridge out of boxes and unstable wooden planks. In this case, in order to build a better and safer bridge with those limited resources, the employees need to be innovative and creative.
Corporate retreats have negative side too. Burger King’s corporate retreat in 2001 is a failure. A dozen Burger Kings employees burned themselves while participating in a fire walk-a team building exercise that requires teammates to walk barefoot across an 8-foot pit of burning-hot coals. The results were injured employees and some very negative publicity for Burger Kings. The concept of this corporate retreat was that when the employees experience humiliation together, they will feel bonded. In fact, organizations should steer away from ridiculous physical challenges, and then they can get benefits from corporate retreats.
In conclusion, team-building activities can increase productivity because organizations can derive valuable skills from corporate retreats.
Most Important Benefits of Corporate Retreats
1. Increases in Revenue
- Increase the number of new customers: After corporate retreat the employees will have a wider global perspective and confidence in dealing with people from different cultures and countries. With this values learned, the employees are able to increase the number of new customers. By increasing the number of new customers the organization is the most direct approach to increase the revenue of the organization. With a wider perspective the employees are able to look into more opportunities and have a larger target market. When the target market is enlarged the employees are equipped with the confident in dealing with people from different cultures and countries which make the have better opportunities to capture the market. Also, the organization is able to increase the market share due to huge diversity of the target market. As a result, they can be the market leader of the industry as they are able to capture the most diversity of customers.
- Increase the value of each sale made to customers: The communication and influencing skills gain after the corporate retreat are able to help an organization to increase the revenue by increasing the value of each sale made to customers. It means that the employees will have the power to communicate, influence and persuade the customer to increase the value of each purchase. For example, if the customers normally purchase 500 units, the employees can persuade and influence the customers to increase the value of each purchase to 800 units. The employee might come out with packages to convince the customer to purchase more. Therefore, the employees can apply the innovation and creativity skill to design valuable packages to generate more revenue for the organization.
- Increase the number of times that customers buy from you: Besides, corporate retreat trained employees in building and maintaining relationships. Through this skill the employees are able to utilize this skill to generate more revenue. By building and maintaining a good relation can increase the number of times that customers buy from you. The employees are should keep in touch with the customers so that the customers will do purchasing more frequent with you. For example, many organizations such as Hotels and Airlines which come out with royalty cards where have a lot of strategies to increase the number of times you visit. There are various ways to build and maintain relation with the customers such as e-mail, mail, text messaging, phone call and point and benefit given to attract the customers visit them often. Hence, innovation and creativity play important roles in developing strategies in building and maintaining relationships.
2. Decreases in Cost
- Employee feedback for cost reduction: After the corporate retreat, the employee will be motivated. So this will be the best time to get their contribution for the company. The managers can get feedback’s through personal interview, daily communication or improvement box. The reasons the managers should get feedback’s from the employees because employees have direct relation with the work process and have more experience regarding the daily operations of the company. On the other hand managers make cost reduction decisions based on theories such as studies, reports, and charts. But, the company has to start using feedback’s given by the employees so that they will contribute more as they feel they are part of the solution. Besides, rewarding them is very important to encourage feedback’s.
- Decrease in Turnover Rate: The main key to decrease the turnover rate is through job satisfaction. The satisfied employees will show positive attitude and morale during the job. In order to create job satisfaction, the organization should fulfill the employees’ needs. Hence, after the corporate retreat the employees relationships was build or maintain, communication & influencing skills are enhanced and more towards team focus. Therefore, the employees will have job satisfaction as the company fulfilled the social need of the employees. According to the Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs Theory of Motivation, human beings have social need. Moreover, the employees will be more loyal to the company as they feel sense of belonging. This is because they are given attention, opportunities and recognize in the company. According to Maslow’s hierarchy this fulfilled their self-esteem need. Besides, according to the Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation, it wills the motivators factor for the employees which will create satisfaction. As a result of job satisfaction through the skills develop from corporate retreat which fulfilling the need of employees, the organization will be able to reduce the turnover rate in the organization.