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Team cohesion is an important aspect of success amongst groups. It is the embodiment of unity and togetherness that acts as the glue within a group to keep them happy and functioning towards shared goals. The Group Environment Questionnaire or GEQ is a commonly used measure for determining team cohesion or unity. It is broken down to four categories reflecting both social and task oriented cohesion (Schneider, Gruman & Coutts, 2012).

In an article for The New York Times, Martha C. White discusses the rise in corporate retreats. Specifically, how new companies are incorporating the more laid back corporate retreats tailored towards team building, rewarding hard work, and brainstorming new ideas (White, 2016). In many ways these retreats can be seen as furthering all four categories of cohesion. The first factor of team cohesion is group integration-social (Schneider, Gruman & Coutts, 2012). In the article, White discusses how corporate retreats are focused on the group being able to get together socially. By allowing teams to interact socially and take part in fun activities as a group, companies are able to maximize feelings of group integration on a social level (White, 2016).

The retreats also improve group integration when it comes to tasks. This factor of the GEQ refers to the way groups perceive task cohesion (Schneider, Gruman & Coutts, 2012). Because these retreats offer the opportunity for work shopping and brain storming, groups are able to come together to discuss goals. The retreats therefore further the group perception of task cohesion as they are able to come together as a team to determine how best to move forward (White, 2016).

These concepts also work on an individual level to promote individual attraction to the group socially and in terms of task orientation. By encouraging coworkers to socialize together outside of the office, companies are able to improve how individuals within that company perceive the people they work with. This could potentially lead to individual employees feeling a stronger sense of an emotional bond with the people they work with on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, by being able to witness how other members of the team participate in brain-storming and other task related activities during a retreat, they are likely to find greater satisfaction with their team’s commitment to task completion (Schneider, Gruman & Coutts, 2012).

As companies continue to transition away from more traditional corporate environments to more relaxed settings, one could imagine that corporate retreats will become increasingly popular. Not only does it provide a way for companies to reward hard-working employees without making the financial commitment of a fixed pay raise, it allows employees to have a stronger sense of unity and cohesion. Retreats are a way for corporations to provide a healthy culture while improving team dynamics.



Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2012). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

White, M. C. (2016, January 11). In retreats, start-ups find a way to recharge workers’ batteries. The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2016, from


1 comment

  1. As noted in the above posting, company retreats are strengthening the cohesion required to run a successful work force. Schneider, Gruman and Coutts (2012) discuss the relationship between efficiency and cohesion: “They found that collective efficacy was significantly related to task cohesion, with both factors of task cohesion (group integration and individual attraction to the group) significantly discriminating between high- and low-efficacy groups.” In my response I will add to some of the benefits regarding team retreats; however, I will also discuss some of the negative factors that result from company retreats.

    Company retreats include team building and bonding which is helpful in creating more meaningful connections between co-workers. When a retreat is in a non-threatening environment, coworkers are on a more even playing field than in the work place. This element helps add to developing more meaningful relationships that may not have developed without the company retreat. This can also increase positive stimulation messages between co-workers (Schneider et al., 2012). Corporate retreats can also be used as a reward system when attempting to extrinsically motivate staff. The corporate retreat also allows HR departments and managers to spend more time alongside their employees. This is beneficial in promotional situations because it allows executive departments to observe prospect’s behavior. Corporate retreats can also help with skill building because the retreat allows for the time to offer additional training on team skills and increasing goal directional and positive orientation messages to motivate employees (Schneider, 2012).

    Although corporate retreats offer many benefits, there are some negative factors to consider when analyzing corporate retreats. Firstly, the cost can be considerable so it is important to be sure that the event does not outweigh the benefits. It is important to consider company liability costs that may fact into corporate retreat outcomes. Next, in corporations of all sizes, money never sleeps; therefore, not every employee will have the opportunity to attend the retreat. This could create a hostile work environment, lead to disgruntled employees, and cause accusations of favoritism. It is also important to remember that some negative outcomes can come from employers or employees who act inappropriately on corporate retreats. Due to the informal nature of these outings, it may be tempting for some employees to act in a distasteful or unacceptable manor (Mburugu, 2015).

    Even so, corporate retreats can be valuable tool especially for companies who rely heavily on successful teamwork to be successful. It is important to weigh the pros and cons before jumping onto the corporate retreat trend.

    Mburugu, C. (2015). Pros and Cons of Corporate Retreats.
    Retrieved February 28, 2016, from

    Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2012). Applied social
    psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

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