Your employees are the lifeblood of your business.  Keeping them happy and making them feel appreciated should be one of your top priorities as an employer.  Of course, knowing this and knowing how to make plans to accomplish it are two different things.  Raises, benefits and recognition are all great ways to show your employees how much they mean to your company, but you should also consider getting them out of the office every once in a while for a team-building company retreat.  Not only does this show appreciation, but it also gives your employees a chance to bond in a non-traditional environment, which makes them better co-workers.

How do you go about planning a company retreat?  Here are a few pointers, as well as an out-of-the-box idea for a unique event.

Plan Ahead

If you throw together an event at the last minute, it’s likely your employees will see it as more of an inconvenience than a perk.  Make sure you plan it at least a couple of months in advance and make sure you’re avoiding all important deadlines your employees may be under.  Get it on everyone’s schedules so they can plan for it, especially if it involves a late night or overnight that they may have to make arrangements for.

Get Employees Involved

It’s unlikely that you have enough time on your hands to plan an event with all of your other duties.  Even if you do, planning something without involving your employees might mean that you plan something they won’t enjoy.  Why not get them involved?  Form a committee and get ideas from them on their perfect company retreat.  Not only will you take some of the work off your own shoulders, but you’ll also have a better chance of holding an event that will be appreciated by all.

Make Sure You Have the Needed Equipment

While it’s nice to have a get together at the office, a really successful company retreat should be held off site.  If you are holding the event outdoors or in a facility that is not already set up with tables, chairs and other necessities, contact a rental company right away.  Renting tents, chairs, linens and other equipment is important for keeping your employees comfortable during the event and rental companies often get hit hard during the summer months with weddings and other parties, so make sure you get in touch as soon as you know details.

Unique Retreat Idea

What type of retreat will your employees honestly remember two, five or even ten years down the line?  A barbeque?  A dinner and motivational speaker?  Not likely.  How about a weekend of a simulated military operation with Airsoft guns and equipment?  Now that’s something everyone will remember!  Omaha Air Tactical (O.A.T.) can help you with every aspect of your Airsoft company outing.  They are currently working with Airsoft Nebraska (ASN) that has access to three separate fields in Ft. Calhoun, Nickerson (Camp Fontanelle) and Papillion, all within easy driving distance of Omaha. ASN is an organization that promotes safe and responsible Airsoft Games in Nebraska, mainly focusing on Eastern Nebraska.  The military simulation operations involve a storyline and teams with missions they need to accomplish, ranging from guard duty to planting demolition charges on satellites or weapon caches. Each side has a Commanding Officer, and small squads will each have their own squad leaders. These events range from 1-7 days, and more than likely would be 1-2 day outings.  O.A.T. provides all the eye/face protection as well as the airsoft weapons and magazines and training for each participant on how their weapons work.  Not only is this a unique and fun event, but it will help your employees with skill sets that you’d find in the workplace such as communication, leadership and teamwork.

Show your employees how valued they are and involve them in an experience of a lifetime.  Plan your company retreat for 2012 today!