Four Ways To Encourage More Bonding During Your Staff Getaway
Taking your staff on a trip or getaway together is a great way to encourage them to bond and get to know one another better. Often, people act differently and are more open outside the office, so enjoying some out-of-office activities can help bring out their true personalities and break down barriers. In all, this leads to happier and more productive employees.
But while a getaway might be just what your employees need, you do need to put some time and effort into planning such a getaway; you want to ensure it's organized in a way that really promotes bonding and the formation of friendships. Here are some ideas to help you achieve that goal.
Arrange Transportation On a Charter Bus
Instead of leaving everyone responsible for their own transportation to the getaway destination, consider booking a charter bus for your employees. The bus ride will be the perfect opportunity for everyone to ease into chatting and getting to know one another. Once they do arrive at the final destination, they'll already be comfortable with each other outside of the office environment. With everyone on the bus, you can take advantage of this time to play some team-building games that get everyone acquainted.
When you think of charter buses, large Greyhound-style buses might come to mind. But in fact, there are smaller charter buses that might be ideal if you have a smaller group of 6 to 10 people. They're more like large vans, but they often have bathrooms, built-in television screens at each seat, and a comfortable layout. To learn more about booking a charter bus, check out websites like https://a-alimo.com/.
Plan Some Activities, But Also Allow For Free Time
It's important to strike a good balance between planned activities and downtime while your staff is away. The planned activities will ensure that everyone does interact with one another. The downtime will give your staff members more flexibility to interact with the people to whom they feel closest.
Try to schedule a few more planned activities on the first day or two of the getaway, while your employees are still getting to know one another. Leave more downtime on the later days. Depending on your destination, you could provide staff with a list of "suggested" activities they can partake in during downtime. This provides some gentle encouragement to get out there and interact with others.
Choose a Destination That Offers Something For Everyone
Try to steer clear of niche destinations that may appeal to some, but not all employees. For example, a weekend trip to a ski resort is not your best choice since those who don't ski will feel left out and probably won't be able to pick up the skill quickly enough to actually have a good time.
Some good destination ideas include nearby beach towns (even non-swimmers can enjoy basking in the sun and browsing surf shops) and scenic parks. (Scenic parks often offer cabin accommodations, and everyone should be able to find something to do, from hiking, to fishing, to bird watching.) When you choose a destination that appeals to everyone, your staff will all feel more comfortable and at ease, which makes for better bonding.
Ban Office Talk During Certain Hours
Since the workplace may be all that some of your staff members know they have in common, it will be easy for them to get hung up on conversations about work. But this does not really satisfy your goals of having them get to know one another better! While you don't want to completely discourage talking about the office, it is helpful to ban "work chat" during certain hours so that your staff is forced to talk about other topics and get to know one another better. For instance, you could make a rule that office talk is not allowed between 3 pm and 9 pm.
With the tips above, your staff should have an easier time getting to know one another during a getaway or retreat.