Workplaces have evolved to reflect the needs of employees and companies. One of the biggest changes is the emergence of remote and hybrid workplaces—something that seems here to stay as it makes sense for many organizations.
Although there are plenty of benefits to remote and hybrid workplaces—including increased autonomy for employees and less or no time commuting—there are also some downsides. Many stem from employees being isolated from their colleagues and leaders, which leads to common challenges such as:
- Maintaining company culture
- Keeping employees engaged to support retention
- Loss of creativity gained via in-person brainstorming and ideation
- Loss of spontaneous problem-solving
- Employees being less visible to leaders, possibly hindering their professional growth
- Leaders being hindered in their ability to observe, coach and mentor
- Newly hired remote employees struggling to connect with company culture and coworkers
In addition, loyalty can suffer, something that’s reflected in the high level of quitting that’s occurring.
How can companies adapt to this new normal and thrive? It’s not rocket science: regularly bring employees together.
Company retreats—more important than ever
Whether or not your company has ever held retreats, they should be on your to-do list now. Research shows company retreats have benefits that include:
- Reducing feelings of isolation for remote teams
- Improving team morale toward work
- Increasing work performance and productivity
- Reducing turnover rates
- Increasing group collaboration and cohesion
- Improving team morale and loyalty
- Fostering innovation and creativity
- Creating alignment and buy-in
In addition, bringing your team together on a regular basis can help relieve the stress and anxiety some may suffer as a result of having an out-of-sight out-of-mind mentality.
All retreats aren’t created alike. Yours should reflect your company culture and the specific goals you hope to accomplish. Here are a few things to consider as you plan:
- Include a balance of work, learning, fun and relaxation to engage employees and make them see the retreat as a great perk.
- Focus on fostering camaraderie among team members who don’t get to connect regularly at the office—providing opportunities to network and provide unstructured time in untraditional locations for activities like wellness, arts or sightseeing.
- Don’t skimp! The investment will definitely pay off in increased productivity, innovation, employee satisfaction and loyalty.
- Choose the right location and venue—pick somewhere interesting and treat it like a mini-vacation.
- Think about incorporating a community giveback activity as a great way to show your company cares.
Changing business circumstances warrant a change in the way you support your employees. Incorporating retreats is an effective strategy to boost collaboration, morale and the performance of your remote/hybrid team.
Interested in hosting a company retreat? Check out our company retreat planning and facilitation services today.