WORK-LIFE BALANCE / SEP. 30, 2014
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Pros and Cons of Corporate Retreats

Many business owners and companies run occasional retreats for their staff. Corporate retreats offer coworkers a great opportunity to connect with each other and deliberate on work matters while having fun at the same time. Such retreats are likely to enhance a company’s bottom line in the long run.

Here are some of the benefits of a well-planned corporate retreat:

1. Team building

People can work alongside each other for a long time without developing meaningful relationships. Retreats allow employees to interact with each other in an environment which is free from pressure. As a result, they are able to open up more easily and thus build strong bonds with their colleagues. In return, this is likely to enhance productivity in the workplace.

2. Rewards

Corporate retreats can be a very effective strategy for rewarding your staff. Treating your team to a few days away at a unique setting will make them feel valued and boost their morale at work. Business retreats also offer a perfect environment for appreciating staff with incentives and bonuses

3. Recruitment

Many companies use corporate retreats as part of their recruitment process. Such retreats give employers or HR managers the opportunity to observe the behavior of the people they are thinking of hiring. Prospects are usually judged on their ability to interact effectively with other employees.

4. Skill building

Besides team building, corporate retreats also play a key role in skill building. Employees are able to learn skills which will help them perform more effectively in the team.

However, despite their immense benefits, corporate retreats also have some downsides:

1. Cost

Depending on its duration, venue and other logistics, running a corporate retreat can be a very costly affair. As a result, it might end up being more of a liability to your company than an asset. It would therefore be advisable to work with a budget which the company can afford

2. Disgruntled employees

When holding a retreat, some employees might inevitably be left behind to run the affairs of the company. This is likely to result in disgruntlement due to perceived favouritism. To avoid this, you need to find ways of compensating such staff members. For instance, you could give them incentives such as an extra day off or a bonus

3. Misbehavior

Since company retreats are held at informal settings, staff might have a tendency to act unprofessionally. Such retreats are usually characterized by overdrinking and sexual trysts. Therefore, before embarking on business retreats, participants should be briefed on what kind of behaviour is unacceptable. You should also take measures to minimize such behaviour. For instance, you could limit the amount of free alcohol available for participants

4. Execution challenges

Organizing a successful corporate retreat takes a lot of effort and hard work. Booking venues, organizing transport, preparing an agenda and ensuring everything runs smoothly can be very draining. To avoid overburdening one person, it would be advisable to have a committee working on the retreat. Assigning roles to different people will make organization easier.

The advantages of corporate retreats far outweigh the disadvantages. Therefore, such retreats should be an integral part of every company’s staff development plan.

 

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