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Why Offsite Retreats Build Company Culture How to reinforce company culture with an office retreat.

By David Wither

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Company culture is important. 90% of employers say it's important at their firms. It's what commits people to the company cause and it's what stops people from killing each other when things get tough. You're bringing together people from different backgrounds and drawing them close. Brands with strong company cultures tend to have the most success. They all work together, and this translates to the company's overall image.

An offsite retreat can be a good way to reinforce company culture. It doesn't have to be a walking cliché, such as a trust fall or climbing a rope. You want your company culture to be fun for all.

But why does an offsite retreat build company culture?

It Allows the Sharing of Ideas

An offsite is designed to be a safe zone where anyone can share ideas. Every company says they want an open company culture where everyone feels part of the same campaign. On the other hand, they rarely follow through on this. An offsite can allow people to share ideas in a place where they don't feel like they're going to be judged or shouted down.

A good offsite can translate to the office because people are able to gain confidence for the first time. They now know their bosses are serious about being able to say whatever you like.

The Whole Company Comes Together for the First Time

Company culture is all about people. Without people, it doesn't exist. You'll notice that every effort to build a corporate culture features people. Bigger companies require offsite retreats so everyone can come together. This just doesn't happen normally.

Even in smaller companies, the chances are the people are the bottom don't come into contact with the people at the top often. An offsite serves as a time where people who don't normally speak can connect. This can lead to a closer and more connected company.

Working on Yourself

Offsite retreats provide the perfect opportunity to work on yourself. In the hustle and bustle of the office, personal development is usually a distant second to the here and now. That can make people think they're stuck in a rut. An offsite is not like going for a drink after you leave the office. It's a time to learn and grow.

Allowing people to learn and grow is crucial because it shows you're a company interested in helping people to advance. A lot of companies don't do this. It leads to poor morale because employees believe the people above them don't care about their futures. They figure they'll just hire someone else if they need someone for a vacant managerial spot.

A More Casual Company

Companies used to be about formality. Everyone would come into the office in a suit and tie, regardless of the role they actually performed. This was what employers wanted to see. This is what the general public expected to see. These days it's the exact opposite.

Formality for the sake of formality is frowned upon. Whenever companies market themselves on social media, they look at showing the staff having fun. They want to relate to people, and that's impossible to do when everyone seems to be adopting the same corporate tone.

This is why an offsite is so essential. It breaks the wall between management and the employees at the bottom. Offsite retreats are all about turning on the fun and avoiding any of the formality that comes with a traditional corporate structure.

Make People Feel Appreciated

A positive company culture only happens when employees feel like they're being appreciated for what they do. It's true offsite retreats can be annoying and tedious, but if you do them right they can turn into a reward. Part of that comes with the location.

For example, take your staff away for an island vacation or to the mountains. Don't just take them to the golf course or a country club. You want to take them to a place where they want to go. They shouldn't be longing to go home to watch TV. This is why it's good to ask your staff where they would like to go.

Make your offsite feel like a reward for all the hard work they've done this year. Make people feel appreciated and it will contribute towards your company culture.

Last Word – Get Everyone Involved

To promote your company, you need to make sure your company culture is stellar. For an offsite retreat to benefit you, make sure you get everyone involved with the process. Convince people to get involved with the planning and execution of your next offsite!

David Wither

Team and Startup Management Coach, Wither Leadership Consulting

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