Collaboration is clearly an important component of today’s teams, but it’s not quite enough to just encourage it. Team-building vacations are a great way to motivate employees, strengthen team communication, and promote creativity. According to CO2Partners.com, top companies like Google, AIG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers take their employees on ski trips, beach getaways, and trips to Orlando to do just that, and offer a reward to their employees for a job well done.
Here are six reasons you should consider taking your employees on a team-building vacation.
1. Work on Team Communication
If your team is not returning positive results, there could be a lack of communication among employees. Team vacations help to address these issues in a variety of ways, including team and individual exercises that focus in on problem areas. From simple issues that are easily addressed and fixed to more complex problems, team-building vacations tend to get everybody working together towards a common goal.
Pro-tip: This is an opportunity for management to see employees interact and communicate in a relaxed setting. Observing communication styles in this environment can be helpful when figuring out the best way to approach different people.
2. Find Your Leaders
Team-building vacations are a great way to pick your leaders out of the pack. Depending on the type of activities and exercises you choose, you may find that some of your employees have natural leadership abilities that aren’t apparent in the workplace setting.
Pro-tip: Note the individuals who volunteer for activities or roles first; then, keep an eye on how they motivate others.
Team-building vacations are a great way for managers to observe how their employees work together and who takes charge along the way. You may find the leaders and followers in your team, allowing you to make changes to business processes and increase efficiency and productivity.
3. Give Employees a Break
In addition to team-building exercises and activities, team-building vacations give your employees a chance to relax and get to know each other outside of the typical workplace environment. You may find that your team works better once they know one another on a more personal level. Giving employees a well-deserved break can increase motivation and performance once they return to the workplace.
Pro tip: Don’t make the entire trip an experiment in employee interactions. Give your people a chance to truly relax — they deserve it!
4. Generate Better Ideas
Getting your employees into a new environment can change the way they think and promote ideas. If you have been facing a challenge at work or are unable to move past a particular problem, a team-building retreat can give employees and management the boost needed to solve problems and enable creative thinking.
Team-building vacations also give employees the opportunity to provide feedback to one another, identify trends, and help management improve their workflow and processes.
Pro tip: Have your employees brainstorm and think outside the box using the new environment as inspiration — unfamiliar surroundings can generate new concepts and ideas.
5. Keep Employees Up-to-Date
Use a team-building vacation to keep your employees up-to-date with the industry by including relevant guest speakers. Guest speakers can also help motivate employees and get them thinking outside of the box.
Team-building vacations and corporate retreats can also be a good time to introduce new HR policies and keep your employees in the loop about the performance of the company. This can be especially helpful if there are worries about job security or impending layoffs.
Pro tip: Encourage your employees to ask questions, or submit them anonymously before you leave. This way, everyone gets their issues addressed without feeling like they’re under scrutiny.
6. Reward Your Staff
Once you’ve managed to get through the team-building exercises, guest speakers, and educational material, you should reward your employees for a job well done. Don’t just think of party favors and meaningless items, but reward employees with things they’ll actually want and find useful.
The reward could even be the destination itself. Team-building vacations don’t need to be held in hotel conference rooms. Think of a destination that employees will enjoy once the work is done and they have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the amenities together.
Pro tip: Employee input is the most effective way to predict whether or not your destination and reward ideas will do the trick. Give them choices, have them cast votes, and use this basic crowdsourcing technique to make sure you’re doing what’s best for the entire team.
Brian Flax is a freelance writer based out of the Washington, D.C. area. He is experienced in a variety of topics including Internet technology, business, and payroll service providers. Follow Brian on Twitter and LinkedIn.