With 80% of employees reporting that they’re too stressed in their office jobs, it’s more important than ever to facilitate employee happiness in the workplace. From snacks and a casual work environment to flexible work hours and office retreats, there are plenty of ways to show employees you appreciate them without breaking the bank.
Although there is no quick fix to creating company culture, ensuring that your employees are building relationships outside of the office is key to boosting morale. Encourage your team to spend at least 20% of their time building relationships in-office to increase gratitude and empathy between employees. Doing so can improve communication between teams, leadership, and different departments.
The Importance of Time Out of Office
A study by Harvard Business Review found that even though the technology is constantly increasing productivity in the workplace, the amount of vacation days employees take off is steadily decreasing. In 2015, employees took an average of 4 days less paid time off than years prior. Considering people that take at least 10 of their vacation days have a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise, there’s more reason than ever to make time for hobbies and trips that get you away from the office and encourage the mentality among peers.
The Benefits of Company Retreats
Hosting a company retreat fosters a culture that many in the workforce today and seeking in their potential employers. Inspire your employees to work towards a shared goal, break communication barriers, and expose hidden talents in the office with a retreat. By inspiring employees to look at the big picture outside of their typical day-to-day tasks, they’re able to destress, get to know their coworkers, and create lasting bonds that can foster greater creativity in the workplace.
Company Retreat Planning
Planning a meaningful company retreat doesn’t have to be an elaborate production. Start with the basics: goals, scheduling, and location. Make sure you’re able to measure the results of your company retreat with viable KPI’s. Some examples of attainable goals at your retreat could be: improving communication between departments, breaking the monotony of office work, employing a creative mindset, or even education in a new product line or service.
Next, schedule the retreat during your company’s slow season. The goal is to help employees destress, not create a more stressful schedule during a busy time. Last, find the perfect location. Think about meeting rooms, outdoor space, lodging, and restaurants within walking distance or close proximity.
Make sure that leadership attends the event. Company culture starts from the top-down, and to get buy-in from all your employees, your leaders need to have a positive attitude about the event. Involve your leadership from the beginning and take off some of the stress of planning the event by having them assist in creating and planning team-building activities and networking events to host during the retreat.
You’ll want to ensure to provide transportation to and from the event, so check if you can get a package deal or discount on the service. You’ll be bringing in a lot of business, after all. Lastly, make sure you carve out time after the retreat to discuss what went well and what didn’t. Transparency is key when it comes to improvement, and the feedback from your first-ever company retreat will help you build successful events in the future. Run a survey and find out what your employees liked and didn’t then revisit the KPI’s you set while planning the event and see what you were able to accomplish. Make sure to speak with the location of the event for future deals and early-bird booking discounts for future retreats!
Check out this detailed roadmap created by Fundera for more tips on planning a meaningful company retreat.
About the author: Meredith Wood is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.