Company Retreats in Lincoln, NE – 2018
At Strictly Business, we do a lot of staff bonding. Whether it’s a few hours outside of the office doing something fun or inspiring, an evening out on the town together, an entire day full of team-building activities, or even taking trips together, we’ve done it. And we’re not alone. More and more businesses and organizations are getting on board with staff outings and company retreats, dedicating valuable (and scarce) time and resources to making them happen. That fact alone definitely speaks to their significance and benefits, which you’ll also find are well documented. With quite a lot of experience and in trying out many different things over the years, we can vouch that we’ve benefitted in many ways as a team from buying in and being willing and engaged participants.
A retreat from the office – literally – takes you and your coworkers away from the usual routine of the daily grind and into a completely different atmosphere sans distractions where you can work on developing your relationships—without it feeling like work. Offsite locations supply new spaces with new resources to help your team grow stronger. Looking for neat ideas that can be found right here in Lincoln? We’ve got a few suggestions!
Competitive Gaming Anyone?
A little friendly competition can be just the thing to bring everyone together. You may be a little worried that it could be a recipe for disaster, backfiring and causing hard feelings or animosity, but that’s rarely the case. Instead, whether your team is a competitive bunch or not, when done right it can be especially engaging and a lot of fun.
Take bowling for example. “Bowling is going to keep you engaged the entire time even when it’s not your turn to bowl,” says Brian Kleinknecht with Sun Valley Lanes. “You’ll be able to enjoy food, drinks, and socializing with others in between the fun of actually bowling when it is your turn. Whatever you decide to do, it doesn’t have to be something that everyone is great at, but it should be something that everyone can participate in and enjoy doing, despite their skill level. Do something, like bowling, that is going to keep you active and be fun for everyone, but also allows you to relax and have the chance to interact with others who are attending.
He also offers a unique idea involving bowling. “HyperBowling offers a nontraditional twist on bowling and will be available for company retreats at Sun Valley Lanes soon! In fact, Sun Valley Lanes is the first bowling center in the entire world to offer this fun new game! HyperBowling eliminates the gutters and combines the fun of bowling with video game technology to create an action-packed and entertaining new way to bowl. Take aim at multiplier targets to increase your score while leveling up to more challenging levels in HyperBowl, avoid ‘Buster’ in HyperActive, our bowling version of the classic game show ‘Press Your Luck,’ or conquer more territory than your opponents in HyperSquad, a territorial game similar to Risk. HyperBowling is for everyone, regardless of skill level!
With the weather being all over the place here in Nebraska, when you’re coming up with ideas for your next company retreat, that’s definitely something to keep in mind. Jennifer Davis-Korn with 48 Bowl, Inc. advises, “If you’re planning a company retreat and want an activity that everyone can participate in and won’t get rained out, bowling is a great option. 48 Bowl, Inc. centers, Parkway Lanes and Hollywood Bowl, offer two multi-use venues. Besides the lanes, we have meeting rooms to handle your breakout group activities and food and beverage service on-site. We are a one-stop shop! We have rates for groups large and small and can work within your budget to provide your group what it needs to make the day a success. We are happy to host casual open bowling for your employees or help you set up a tournament for some team building. We always recommend that you inquire about reservation dates as far in advance as possible so that we can secure the day and time you want. Our Group Sales Coordinator, Terri Jo Podraza, will be able to assist you throughout your process, from inquiry to booking and can guide you to the center, activities, and spaces in our buildings that will best suit your group’s needs. She can be reached at (402) 483-7763 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find information about group rates, beverage and food service by location by visiting our website www.48bowl.com.”
Maximizing Those Meetings!
Getting out of your normal routine and setting, and probably your comfort zone too, supports thinking in new and different ways with a clear mind and a new perspective. Company retreats encourage brainstorming and creativity, something we can all benefit from, and even more so when we are doing it collaboratively. An event that brings people together outside of the workplace and gets the results you’re looking for doesn’t have to be a daylong affair, it could even be just an hour or two. When it comes to meetings, for example, you could conduct them offsite, or you could do something beforehand that primes everyone for optimal engagement during.
As for the latter, Levi Wertz with Lost in Float proposes, “While planning for your next team meeting, prepare your staff with an hour of total relaxation in one of our four float tanks. Caution, side effects will likely include: A joyful, nice to be around, mentally-focused, present and prepared staff ready to slay the creative dragon! We have even coined our float tanks the ‘Think Tanks’ because we use them before any of our own team meetings and it’s the perfect way to describe them.
So Levi, what is this crazy thing you speak of? In short, a float tank (aka floatation tank, sensory deprivation tank, or isolation tank) is a tank filled with water that has enough Epsom salt mixed in to allow a person to float effortlessly on the surface. The water is kept at skin-temperature, making it imperceptible, and the tank is soundproof and pitch-black, creating a place for our bodies to be free from gravity and all stimulation from the outside world. A float tank is not as much an object as it is an environment – one that allows our bodies and minds to sink away from everything around us and focus internally.
More to the point of its benefits prior to a meeting or brainstorming session, how often have you promised yourself a certain amount of time to prep beforehand only to be reminded it begins shortly? While multitasking to meet all of life’s other demands, you haven’t utilized any brain space on the subject matter that’s soon to be the focal point of discussion. While floating you’ll find the bio-computer (your brain) has more resources available to efficiently and effectively focus on the task at hand. No longer juggling the complexities of external stresses/demands of the outside world, your central nervous system will go effortlessly into a state of rest and relaxation. After your staff steps out of a Think Tank session and prepares for their meeting, the worst you can expect is incessant complaining about less pain, less stress, less anxiety, more creativity, lower blood pressure and an overall sense of serenity. More than likely they will also be complaining about a great night of sleep around the water cooler the following morning.
The most important part of planning a Think Tank company retreat is good planning. Don’t rush into relaxation; ‘hurry up and relax’ just doesn’t feel that relaxing. Let your team know what they are getting into, and with group sizes of 3 or 4 people, we’ll need to work out the logistics of getting everyone in at the same time together. I encourage you and your team to come in for a Think Tank session and get to know yourself while also getting to know the people with whom you spend most of your waking life.”
For the actual meeting itself, if you’re looking for a place to really get the creative juices flowing, consider having it at The Graduate. It’s full of character and great spaces to use, and you can take a break to play some retro games together too.
Whatever you’ve got in mind for your next company retreat, team-building event, off-site meeting or brainstorming session, or anything else along those lines, don’t just settle for the same old thing. There’s a certain degree of monotony in most everyone’s work life anyway, so finding ways to break it up and shake it up is the key to time well spent.