The Future of Corporate Retreats in a Post-Pandemic World
More than half of the workforce needs new skills in order to successfully do their job, a recent Gartner survey shows. As a result, according to a new report from SHRM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, one in five employers plan to increase their investment in training and development this year. And yet, the majority of organizations are not completely satisfied with their current training offerings. From new types of skills to be built to the format and content of team learning and development experiences, a new paradigm is emerging, and it calls for a complete overhaul of outdated models. In a post-pandemic world, there is no doubt that prioritizing people and nurturing talent is more important than ever. According to the latest Microsoft Work Trend Index, a global study of 30,000 people, over 40 percent of employees are considering leaving their current jobs this year. Some of the key factors driving their decision include concerns over career advancement and skills development and issues around communication, connectedness and culture.
To increase retention, and with it, business growth, the new economy is dictating that we adapt, adjust, and redefine company culture based on new needs and business realities. Across the board, the workforce needs more engagement, with a sense of career progress and meaningful community, connection, and care. But how can we redefine company culture and position ourselves for success in the future, if we are working with the methods and tools of the past?
It’s time to radically transform corporate retreats and reimagine company culture for the future. Here are three key steps for leaders to consider as they chart a plan for the new normal.
1. Start by understanding human and organizational needs and evaluating team demographics.
A successful program begins with a comprehensive assessment and a targeted plan outlining top goals and priorities. Every business is unique: a company that recently hired 50 new employees has dramatically different needs than an organization that recently underwent restructuring. The same is true for companies that will remain remote versus those that are employing an in-person or hybrid model. Every team and every employee is unique, which is why leaders need to listen, keep an open mind to a variety of needs and situations, and develop specific programs to address those needs.
2. Rethink every assumption.
For decades, employees have been cramped into conference rooms and expected to show up to stuffy corporate ballrooms. Seemingly never-ending meetings filled with the same old team-building exercises and stale buffets were par for the course. Coming out of a pandemic, it’s clear that no one wants to go back to that environment. Meetings and retreats now have to be more engaging, increasingly held outdoors, and with a heightened focus on human connection and more fun built in. A new society requires a new approach for how business is conducted, and that extends to retreats. Challenging the past and actively creating the conditions of success required in the new economy is crucial.
A successful retreat will allow teams to step outside the boundaries of their office or remote workspace. As they enter a new environment, teams will be able to get out of their routines and stretch their thinking. To make an impact, every element of the retreat should stand out and allow each group to connect around a shared once-in-a-lifetime experience, with integrated learning layered in.
3. Unleash new possibilities and infuse optimism back into the business.
This means designing retreats that truly energize and inspire teams, foster learning, and create long-term change and results. When companies support their teams in their professional and personal development and provide opportunities to grow and achieve their goals, people will be engaged, fulfilled, and able to add more value. Their motivation and energy will spread across the organization, breeding creativity and innovation.
Onyx Offsites and Trainings offers corporate retreats that deliver enriching team building communication programs, hands-on collaboration and instructional activities, and the ability for employees to connect and build lasting positive relationships with one another. Wellness retreats are a great way to bring the power of the great outdoors and the goal of living your best life in a healthy manner to groups of all sizes. Programming will help teams learn new skills, tools and habits to build resilience, encourage healthy habits, and nurture wellness and personal and professional growth.