Professionals in for a Retreat? Not Likely

Survey: Only Five Per Cent of Canadian Firms Holds Corporate Retreats, Potentially Missing Key Benefits

Toronto, ON (July 26, 2017) – Corporate retreats – offsite events where employees, commonly executives, meet to discuss the business – offer organizations numerous benefits, with increased teamwork and employee morale chief among them, according to Canadian CFOs whose companies engage in them. But those organizations are in the minority: Nine in 10 companies (95 per cent) don’t hold annual gatherings, a recent survey by Robert Half Management Resources found.

CFOs were asked, “Does your company offer an annual corporate retreat?” Their responses:







CFOs whose companies offer these meetings also were asked, “What is the single greatest benefit of having a corporate retreat?” Their responses*:

Increases teamwork and morale


Provides an environment that stimulates new ideas and perspectives


Enhances cross-departmental collaboration


Offers additional professional development opportunities




*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding


Additional research findings include:

  • Companies with 250-499 employees are the most likely to offer an annual corporate retreat.
  • While CFOs from both groups cited increased teamwork as the top advantage of corporate retreats, this is a greater emphasis for large organizations. The research also suggests small businesses more often benefit from new ideas than the biggest companies.
  • Among industries, business services firms most commonly hold these sessions, while retail services offer them the least, according to CFOs interviewed.
  • The survey found businesses based in Alberta offer these events most often.

“Corporate retreats or similar events give employees the opportunity to explore and engage with different aspects of their company’s overall business strategies and goals,” said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. “Companies can benefit from creating environments that encourage teams to think freely and collaborate on ways to grow the organization.”

King noted that even with resource challenges, firms should actively seek opportunities to take employees out of their day-to-day routines and allow for creativity, relationship-building and goal-setting. “Regardless of size or scale, designating time for brainstorming and strategy sessions will help support a more innovative, dynamic and engaged workplace,” added King.

Robert Half Management Resources highlights alternatives to traditional corporate retreats:

  • Innovation days: Invite groups to develop and pitch ideas to help the business. Executives can review the proposals and guide teams in implementing them.
  • Staycation-style retreats: Managers can take their teams to a local offsite venue to brainstorm and connect.
  • Top-performer celebrations: In addition to recognizing their great work, invite star employees to submit their ideas for helping the organization grow.
  • Town halls: These regular or semiregular gatherings provide an opportunity to share updates with staff. Serve food or otherwise dress up the event to emphasize its importance.
  • Quarterly strategy sessions: Gather department leaders or task forces to talk shop in a formal setting.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Robert Half Management Resources

Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals for companies’ project and interim staffing needs. Customizing its approach for each organization, Robert Half Management Resources can provide a single consultant, a financial team or full-service consulting services, delivered through Protiviti, a Robert Half subsidiary. With more than 140 locations worldwide, Robert Half Management Resources works with companies of all sizes, including more than half of the top 100 companies from the FORTUNE 500®. For more information, visit Follow us at and @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.