Are company retreats really a bad idea?

At viventura we try to organise a company-wide retreat once a year. Our staff members are working and living at different cities, mostly in South America. So meeting once a year and work together for a few weeks to really get to know each other better, work together and enjoy a great time together makes good sense for us. As this costs quiet a bit of money we set up goals in the previous year for sales of the first quarter, and when we hit it we actually do the company retreat. Three years ago it was Costa Rica, next week we will head to Brazil.

Now – a German media site – heard about our story. Usually people noticing our retreats like them. The reaction this time was a bit different though. Some experts were interviewed, if the viventura retreats do the company good. It’s funny to see others analyse our retreats, I have to admit. 2015-10-29 22-59-51

So, Nora, first of all thank you for your interest and taking the time to write about viventura and our retreats. Before I talk about the offsites, one small correction: we didn’t double our booking numbers. Probably not your fault, maybe another source got it wrong or our Marketing Team was a bit to excited about the great year we are having. We have had a great year – even though that the USD exchange rate was a big financial burden.

Nora is mentioning, that employee engagement is often reduced up to 30% after companies give out “bonus”. That is really hard to believe. Going the extra mile and offering something special to your team members in my opinion really motivates people and integrates them more in the company.

A Düsseldorf Psychologist is quoted that material bonus just have short term effects. Wouldn’t that make a non-material company retreat even more attractive as bonus?

And then Tourism Specialist Gerd Denzel from one of Germany biggest union “Verdi” is quoted: It worries him, that viventura is using it’s retreat to is used for for promotional reasons. I think Gerd is right on this one. We shouldn’t use our retreats for promotion. I think, that yes it makes sense to talk about it, because it simply makes sense that other companies follow our example as it is a Win-Win situation for everybody involved..

If you are thinking of organizing such an offsite. I highly recommend that you do it, especially for decentralized organisations, you have numerous benefits:

  • it’s a great way to say thank you to your team
  • the team gets to know each other much better and trust amongst its members grow
  • past miscommunication that occurred over the distance can be detected and clarified
  • working in a different environment creates creativity and innovations
  • good time for strategic, non-operational work
  • … and: it’s simply Fun.


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Loves to make things happen, make the world a little better place. Born in Germany, has worked and lived in Peru & Colombia. Founder of viventura and Co-Founder of & viSozial foundation. Andre is a passionate traveler, loves Photography is married to his wonderful wife Adriana and has an amazing son. And he's known for his passion of Peruvian Food and dancing Salsa...

Posted in Management, Tourism (EN)

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