Corporate offsite should be treated as an extension of the office culture where the organizational mission, vision and goals occupy the primary position. Within the broad framework of this cultural entity, offsite need to be different from the typical official environment because one of the main purposes of a team retreat or team activity is to let the team members be their natural selves, let down their hair loose, and interact with each other at a more informal level than they are used to within the four confines of an office building. Most corporates today spend valuable time and money in strategizing such team building activities that are truly result-oriented and learning-oriented and yet provide a congenial environment for participants to bond with each other and have some meaningful fun time.
There is no doubting the fact that employee engagement is the key to an organization’s success today. Getting your employees engaged and working in cohesion is, however, no easy job and needs lots and lots of focussed work to achieve that wanted level of comradeship. Once your employees are engaged with the organizational goals and objectives, with their team goals and with each other, nothing can beat your organization from reaching the zenith of success.
Offsite meets help fill your employees with dynamism and energy. This can be compared with the vitality and the sprint of the youthful river that rushes downstream from the mountains to meet the sea. Companies that do not believe in offsite and team building activities are like the rivers in the floodplains where the water stands still and stagnating. Here are some distinct benefits of corporate offsite making them worth all the effort and money in the world.
1. Meetings and activities can be held in the office building and premises but this can soon become boring and tedious. Taking the team out on a retreat provides them with a change of scene and this change is something that is majorly welcomed by employees. As per one survey in the US in 2013, it revealed that 63% of meeting planners and training companies expressed that offsite meets are more productive than onsite events. (Source: http://www.successfulmeetings.com/News/Hotel-Updates/Nearly-Two-Thirds-of-Meeting-Planners-Say-Meetings-Outside-the-Office-Are-More-Productive/).
Of this 82 % feel that the relaxed environment that corporate offsite provides is the main reason behind the success of these outdoor events. The environment at a retreat is less tensed and more relaxed as compared to the office environment and hence helps bring out better results from employees in terms of learnings and performances. It also helps in channelizing the creative talents of employees that are usually hidden and doesn’t get the chance to come to the forefront. Many team leaders and managers actively take their teams out for weekend lunches and dinners to enthuse a change of scene from the regular office environment.
2. Corporate offsite and uniquely designed team building activities help improve the productivity of employees, directly or indirectly. The Gallup 2014 State of the Global Workplace report states that 51% felt they were not engaged with their workplace while 17% were disengaged completely with the organizational culture. (Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrealoubier/2017/10/30/how-offices-are-innovating-to-improve-our-happiness-productivity-and-well-being/#6d32ea486ad1).
Many companies today are redesigning their interiors to create an upbeat office environment. Taking the team out to offsite is a good way to perk up the employee engagement rate which is directly proportional to the productivity levels of employees.
3. Corporate offsite help improves and enhances communication between team members. One of the commonest problems that modern corporate world face in the typical office environment is that employees do not have proper and professional communication standards amongst themselves.
In fact, people from different departments hardly communicate and inter-personal communication between different team members in the same team also, many times, are more on the competitive side because each wants to outperform the other and impress the manager. All these issues can be handled and resolved amicably through team building activities outside the daily grinding environment of a typical office.
4. Offsites help build a camaraderie amongst employees that is the need of the hour today. Healthy and positive relationships in the office are as crucial as they are in our personal space. Enhanced relations always unite the team better and make it progressive in nature. Employee engagements are high when employees connect with each other at a personal level.
Going out of the normal office environment helps employees to work on their relationships with others around. They interact, talk, share, have fun, resolve issues and support each other, that they would have never done or got the opportunity to do in the office. Also, offsite help the barrier that exists between departments, designations, levels etc.
5. Offsites offer a nurturing environment where learning is enabled better. Since the ambience is more relaxed, employees are able to focus better, voice their opinions and ideas effectively and also engage in interactive learning vis-à-vis training that is imparted in the office environment. Some great ice breakers come from music and dance domains like the Beat Box challenge, Beat the Trash, Drum Jam Session and the Foot Loose activities.
All these games are oriented around music and there is no bigger and more effective language than rhythm and sound. Breaking the ice helps break the unvocal barriers that exist in the minds of employees and help them imbibe the learning better and more optimally.
6. Retreats help hidden talents and creativities of employees to come to the forefront. Corporate offsite include team building activities that focus on unusual and novel learnings and employees need to exhibit different skills to complete these tasks. Often in so doing, employers and managers get to see the other and completely different sides of employees, that they would have never known if the offsite had never happened.
From skills like singing, dancing to leading teams, issuing the right commands, strategizing skills, spoken and presentation skills and many more such attributes are displayed by employees that managers can take note of. These attributes can be then developed by the right-minded manager providing the employees to develop their innate talents and skills.