I have been on a couple of staff retreats in my life. None have usually gone well. For some reason it has only been the most dysfunctional places that want their cranky staff to live in even closer spaces for a day or three. So today I’m presenting my list of the 20 ways to NOT run a staff retreat, based on (painful) personal experiences.
- Don’t make such a focus on drinking that the retreat gets nicknamed “vomit bonding”.
- Make sure everyone has a 100% identical room to prevent picky staff throwing tantrums, storming down to reception & demanding an upgrade. Heaven forbid that one room have a different colour of paint and a slightly different sized TV.
- Ensure that the upgraded staff don’t fall asleep in their upgraded spa bath after a night of drinking.
- Don’t plan a retreat to a cold mountain in the middle of flu season.
- When you ask staff to be there on time, make sure you leave on time.
- If you’re the manager of the team, show up for the retreat.
- Don’t sit over the wheel of the bus going up a bouncy road.
- If you’re going to stay 2 minutes drive from a landmark, make it part of the retreat to visit said landmark.
- Have someone in charge so your staff know when things like lunch are.
- Have some rules about how early in the day you can start drinking. Maybe a rule about if you’re allowed to put alcohol in your coffee as soon as you get to the venue.
- Have some activities that don’t relate to drinking.
- If you’re the manager and unable to show up to most of the day, show up for dinner on time.
- If you’re the manager and show up late and then even later than you were supposed to, don’t make a rushed attempt at drinking just to “catch up”.
- LET YOUR STAFF GO TO BED BEFORE 11PM.
- Don’t let your staff scream outside colleagues’ doors at 4am.
- When it’s raining, cold and foggy, don’t have outdoor activities.
- If you have morning activities, make your staff get out of bed before 1pm.
- Don’t give a bow & arrows to annoyed, sleep deprived staff.
- If you’re the manager, don’t get bored after lunch and drive home, leaving the rest of your staff to wait for the bus back to work.
- Don’t do tequila shots at work.
Have you ever been on a staff or corporate retreat? Regale me with your stories 🙂
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