Planning a corporate wellness retreat should be fun, but it's also extremely time consuming if you haven’t organised one before. You need to create a clear plan and strategy...
Whether you are a small business owner or an HR manager for a big firm, it's important to allocate some time for your employees away from the working and home environment, to reset and unplug. The team get a chance to reconnect with nature, as well as with each other. There are many health benefits of getting away from the everyday routine for a while, all of which are key to building resilience and avoiding burnout. But a team offsite can also be a unique opportunity to learn new skills or acquire the tools to help return to the workplace refreshed, invigorated and inspired.
Here are a list of our top 10 tips on how to plan a corporate wellness retreat for you and your employees and get the most out of your time away together:
1. Time and Duration.
First thing to decide is when and for how long you want to lead the retreat. This is most likely going to be determined by the work schedule and how much time you can afford for employees to be away from the office and their families. However, your retreat should not only be seen as a financial investment, but also an investment in the long term wellbeing of you and your team. Therefore, you should try to make a solid commitment, to take as much time away as needed and is possible, in order for you to reap the maximum benefits, without putting your business and employees under too much pressure.
Nb. If you feel that you simply cannot afford to take any time off, then the chances are that you and your team probably need to take time off more than ever!
2. Venue and Location.
The retreat venue and location is ultimately going to be determined by the length of the retreat, as well as price and availability. A shorter WEEKEND BREAK (2-3 nights) would most likely mean staying LOCAL or DOMESTIC, whereas, if you are able to take your team away from the office for longer (3-7 days), then you may want to plan an INTERNATIONAL retreat or to a REMOTE venue, say in the SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS.
Nb. CSR has an extensive list of TRIED AND TESTED VENUES, both at home and abroad, that will be ideal for your retreat. Do you have a particular location in mind? We are also able to RESEARCH AND SOURCE a suitable venue in a specific location for you.
3. Team, Activities and Excursions.
The next thing to decide is the FOCUS and OBJECTIVE of the retreat. This is very important and will help to determine who you want to lead the retreat and what workshops, activities and excursions you will include in the retreat package, allowing you and your team or employees to get the most out of your retreat.
Nb. CSR can suggest and recommend a list of trained and qualified health and wellness professionals, as well as local guides and destinations to assure that your retreat is productive, informative, fun, effective and safe.
4. Itinerary, Logistics and Travel.
Once you know the when, where and why of your retreat, you will then need to create an itinerary, so that you can move ahead and make any arrangements, such as putting down deposits for accommodations and meals, reserving flights, booking drivers, instructors and guides and taking out any travel insurance.
Nb. CSR has been hosting retreats and working together with reliable and competitive suppliers over many years, which makes it easier to coordinate all logistics and will put your mind at ease, knowing that the services that we contract are second to none.
5. Marketing and Promotion.
Once the retreat logistics and programme is taken care of, if you are not offering the retreat to your employees for free, then you will need to market the retreat and sell it to your clients and to arrange for your team or employees to register for the retreat. This will most likely involve contracting the services of a professional graphic designer, who will require all the relevant details, such as name, description, focus, price, contact, as well as any photos or images needed to create any physical or online promotional material.
Nb. CSR offers these services for an additional cost and can make sure that your retreat retreat gets exposure through our own mailing list and social media channels.
Regardless of whether you are planning a retreat for your clients or for your team of employees, you are going to require all participants to fill out a registration form. This would contain participant information, such as personal and emergency contact details, flight/travel information, allergies and dietary restrictions, medical assessments, as well as terms and conditions and liability waivers etc. All this information must be collected and stored in compliance with GDPR and data protection regulations. T&C and LW must be an official legal document that is either manually or electronically signed by each individual.
Nb. CSR works with an online travel platform, that makes the whole registration procedure very easy and non time consuming. It allows us to gather all the participant’s information together in one place and makes it easy to access, in case it is needed before, during or post retreat.
7. Pre-Retreat Workshop.
When a retreat has a specific focus and agenda, we find that it is helpful and a good idea to prepare material or to host a workshop prior to the actual retreat. This aims to give the participants an insight into what they can expect to get from the retreat and to answer any questions that they may have, regarding the logistics and content. This doesn't have to be done in person, it could be done virtually.
Nb. CSR is committed not only to the actual running of the retreat, but also to the retreat preparation and making sure that you and your team get the most out of your investment. This means that we are available to offer our services to provide you with all the materials and support that you need in the build up to your retreat. We also organise virtual well-being workshops and retreats - which could be a wonderful way to introduce some of the the concepts and ideas.
8. Retreat Schedule.
It's very important to have a clear and concise schedule planned from the start of the retreat. Although we tend to explain to our group leaders and participants that the schedule needs to be somewhat flexible, in order to allow for unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances, such as weather conditions, we find it desirable and helpful to have a structured retreat schedule available, which will allow both us and our clients to relax and plan how they manage their stay.
Nb. Although each retreat is bespoke to our clients personal agenda and requirements, CSR uses a proven retreat structure which allows ample time to be shared between travel, work, meals, rest and play!
9. Food, Nutrition and Mealtimes.
Although, in general, we all like to eat…many of us, simply do not find the time or maybe do not have the ability, in our busy everyday work and family lives, to eat properly and consciously! One very important element of the retreat, is having a structured mealtime schedule and the opportunity to indulge and nourish our bodies, eating meticulously prepared, healthy meals. You should also inform the participants of any rules regarding smoking or the consumption of alcohol during the retreat. These may be drastic changes or appear as extreme demands for some participants, and so it is important to inform them beforehand, so that they can be prepared and hopefully more open to the idea.
Nb. CSR encourages our groups to welcome an alternative ‘Flexitarian’ diet, that will incorporate organic, locally sourced ingredients, both plant and non plant based. On our wellness retreats we also encourage our guests to limit the consumption of alcohol to dinnertime and to only smoke in the allocated areas.
10. Post-Retreat Management.
Planning a retreat does not end once you leave the venue. There are numerous duties and obligations that need to be tied up, such as the paying of suppliers, as well as the collection or editing of photos and film, the gathering and logging of feedback from questionnaires and reviews or possibly the hosting of a post-retreat workshop. All of these tasks may seem quite laborious, after the fun part of the actual retreat is over, but they are instrumental and essential for gauging feedback, following up on content covered during the retreat and for creating priceless learning opportunities for any future retreats.
Are you organising a team or company off-site?
Want it to have a wellness angle? Need some help with the event planning?
Our all-inclusive corporate retreat packages are tailor-made for you and your guests. We provide an end-to-end event design, management and support service; to remove as much of the stress for you as possible, allowing you to concentrate solely on the work content and benefiting yourself from the retreat. Get in touch to request a full retreat brochure with pricing examples, arrange a call with one of our team, or request an initial quote within 24 hours.