If you work in the corporate world, you probably know the collective yawn that comes over workplace when the higher ups mention the possibility of a corporate retreat. And for good reason. Corporate retreats of the past have been snooze-fests with less-than-impressive keynote speakers and plenty of useless showboating by people who either don’t work for your company or offer no helpful advice to the majority of people in your company. This amounts to a “retreat” that actually ends up feeling like a big waste of time and can also create exhaustion where a refreshed interest in your job is supposed to reside.

If you’re the manager of a team of people and are interested in creating a corporate retreat sometime in the near future, you might want to do some research into what makes a corporate retreat actually enjoyable. From avoiding mistakes like getting the wrong entertainment to insuring that the “retreat” doesn’t feel like an extended stay in a grade-school classroom, there are plenty of ways to make your corporate function enjoyable and effective. Here are some ways to do so, without sacrificing your company’s overall goals.


One thing that makes corporate retreats nearly unbearable to your employees is to be shoved into a room and talked at for hours. Not only will this not stimulate them, they will likely trail off during the majority of the talks and won’t gain anything from the presentations or speakers. And who can blame them? As full grown adults, they want to feel involved and stimulated by the material being presented to them. Make sure that there are question and answer sessions, interactive sessions and opportunities for them to voice their own opinions on the matters as hand. After all, if they weren’t good at their jobs, you wouldn’t have hired them. Give them a chance to express their concerns and interact with the people who are making the decisions about their work environments.


This step has to begin with the careful observance of your workforce. Are your employees predominantly Millennials? Then it’s probably not wise to book a Seals and Crofts cover band for the retreat entertainment. Are they trendy? If so, it might not be in your best interest to provide pocket-protectors and keychains with your company logo in the swag bag.

Think about your employees, what will entertain them and what they would find interesting or useful. Show that you’re in touch with their culture and the challenges they face in their jobs and create a retreat environment that will encourage their interaction. You’ll likely find that they learn more and enjoy themselves more as a result.


Sometimes, pulling all the stops to provide your employees with “fun” downtime activities is a waste of time. Even more, making excursions to participate in these activities mandatory is a quick path to a large group of disgruntled full grown adults. Make your employees part of the process of choosing the activities for their retreat, even if it’s just comfortable couches, endless coffee and interesting, relatable speakers.

One thing that causes a corporate retreat to border on miserable is the lack of anything that’s actually enjoyable to keep your employees interested. Get to know them, listen to their requests, pay attention to what ails them at work and what helps them fly through their tasks lists with ease. As a manager, creating a productive, enjoyable and refreshing retreat can be a huge path to success when it comes to creating teamwork and enlightenment among your employees and a better workspace.

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