Posted on: 8 February 2017Share
Holding a corporate retreat is a great way to help everyone within your company feel more unified. If you plan the retreat appropriately, your employees will get to know one another on a more personal level and will come home feeling like more of a team. Here are some strategies to help encourage team building and a feeling of unity throughout the event.
Order matching graphic tees.
When everyone wears the same shirt, they start to feel like a part of a larger organization. If you have a large group headed to the retreat, they might not all know each other on the first day. Having matching shirts will help them identify one another when others are present. Others will also take notice of the group -- which could be good advertising for your company.
Tee shirts are a good choice because they're comfortable and rather inexpensive. There are numerous companies that will make a custom graphic tee with your company's logo or even a special phrase, like "Company X Corporate Retreat, 2017" on them. Before you place the order, get a list of the employees who will attend and their shirt sizes. This way, you can be sure everyone's tee shirt will fit.
If you want to get employees even more involved, you can hold a tee shirt design contest before the retreat. Allow employees to submit their best designs, and then pick a winner. Have the winner's design printed on the graphic tees. This is especially fun if you work in a creative industry with a lot of employees who will create truly artistic, inspired tee shirt designs.
For more ideas, contact a company like Artist Shot.
Arrange for group transportation.
Think back to the trips you took in high school and maybe even college. Chances are, your group rode together on a bus -- and that ride was one of the more important bonding periods on the trip. The same is true in adulthood when planning a corporate retreat. If you have everyone drive themselves to the retreat destination or provide their own transportation, they'll be missing out on this important bonding time. Arrange to have a charter bus transport everyone from the office to the retreat, and your group will already be closer by the time they arrive.
If the employees attending the retreat are very unfamiliar with each other, you may even want to plan a few ice breaker activities for the bus ride. For instance, you could play the movie game. The first person says the name of an actor or actress. The next person names a movie they were in. The third person names another actor or actress in that movie, and so forth.
Create different groups for each activity.
On most retreats, it will be necessary to divide participants into smaller groups for certain activities. If you allow people to form their own groups, they may form similar groups time after time. When this occurs, cliques tend to form -- or at the very least, your employers are really only getting to know a small portion of those at the retreat rather than everyone.
To prevent clique formation and encourage everyone to branch out a bit more, pre-designate the groups for all of these activities. And makes sure you put people in different groups each time so they get the chance to get to know more people. This may feel a little awkward to the attendees at first, but they'll soon start forming friendships with people they may never have imagined they'd like.
With group tee shirts, a bus ride to get acquainted, and careful group designation, your corporate retreat is bound to result in a closer-knit company and new friendships.