Whether you are running a fresh and innovative startup, or you are the Human Resources Manager for a large corporation, or anything in between, as the employer you have a responsibility towards the well being of the people who work for you. After all, if your employees are unhealthy physically or emotionally, it will be your company’s loss. Employee retreats are one solution to keeping a healthy staff.
A relatively recent trend sees managers and executives of all kinds organizing little “health getaways” for their hardworking staff. Maybe you can make it a reward for something, or just a general gesture of goodwill. But you would want to know what the gain is, right? So, we talked to a team of professionals in the field of meditation retreats, to hear what this trend means for the employees who receive that type of benefit.
What are wellness retreats anyway?
Wellness retreats are the central point of the relatively young business called “wellness tourism”. And this idea is exactly what the name implies: a specifically prepared place that people go to, usually relatively remote, in order to retreat from the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. The idea is to have some time in peace and quiet for the sake of recharging.
Employee retreats are meant as sort of events geared toward physical, mental, and sometimes even spiritual or emotional well-being of the participants – in this case, your employees. These events do not always necessarily have to be elaborate escapades in some fairytale mountains that nobody has ever heard of. It counts as a “wellness retreat” even if it is something more or less simple like a visit to a spa center, or some time at a fitness resort.
Of course, you can get more extravagant with it and take your people for a trek on a mountainside, a hike through a forest or a national park, or a yoga week in some semi-exotic locale. There is actually a lot of room for creativity in realization of such a getaway. You can even host your own!
Boost your employees’ physical performance
This is arguably the most immediately obvious benefit of this kind of arrangement. Spending day after day sitting in an office chair, and then sitting in another chair for lunch, and maybe sitting during a commute spells rapid doom for the back and neck.
Moreover, mental labor is a whole different kind of exhausting compared to physical labor. Your employees will accumulate stress, which will increase their risk of muscle atrophy, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint deterioration, and overall shorter lifespan (yes, really).
A wellness retreat is a great way to disrupt this sedentary cycle and kick your people’s health back into gear. For this purpose, there are many options that concentrate on exercise and even nutrition tutoring. A healthy worker is a motivated and productive worker, after all.
Strengthen your employees’ mental fortitude
Right up there with physical wellbeing, mental health is also important. What happens when your people have to go back to their office chairs?
Employee retreats can give them tools for balancing their work, family, and private life. These typically include writing or art, mindful breathing, or various meditative techniques.
Equipped like that, people can keep their minds clear even after the retreat ends, meaning they can better handle their tasks, unexpected situations at work, stress at home or anywhere else. You will find that your team is more creative, better focused, and better at troubleshooting.
Let your employees overcome adverse periods
“Healing” might sound tacky, but it is a necessary thing. Especially after you have had a rough period in the company, like financial losses, difficult transitions, etc., workers will be drained and possibly hurt, depending on the situation.
Employee retreats will let everybody leave their buzzing headspace for a while and disconnect from the struggles and drama. They offer a great chance for people to work through any personal or interpersonal problems with spontaneity and freedom, which tends to be much more effective than tailored meetings or seminars.