When it comes to company retreats, you’re probably thinking trust falls and motivational speakers. But team-building trips can go far deeper than that. Whether you’re running a company with five or 500 people, changing pace with a retreat will re-energize your team, encourage cross-departmental collaboration and strengthen internal bonds.

When planning your company retreat, think through your goals. If your only objective is to fortify bonds and establish trust among team members, maybe rope courses are the way to go. Consider your company’s needs, and create an open, accepting environment where employees feel comfortable disclosing their fears or being their natural selves. The ideas you generate from unlocking their potential might just surprise you.

Entrepreneur magazine found nearly 30% of companies elect not to do any company retreats or events purely for financial reasons. However according to CNN Business Editor, Brian Stelter, it’s really an active investment in your business. “Generally the money isn’t that big a deal unless you’re doing something really outrageous,” Stelter says. “The cost is not doing it, in my book.”

The right retreat should facilitate experience-sharing and result in new thinking. These are the top four takeaways (with some great exercise suggestions!) from Entrepreneur on how a company retreat can yield unexpected benefits.

People Overcome Fears

Although your team members might be scared of heights that probably isn’t a day-to-day issue, unless you work in construction. One way to help people feel comfortable revealing their fears is an exercise called ‘Nightmare Cards.’ Separate into groups and employees write down their worst department or industry-related nightmares. By doing this exercise, people are able to openly discuss their fears and work stressors while having the support of their team. This not only helps create an action plan to solve these fears but also the company can prepare for worst-case scenarios.

Unites Departments

When running a growing company, departments can quickly create barriers. Challenging employees from various departments to collaborate on a project can test everyone’s industry knowledge. For example, founders can put together a company-wide exercise asking teams from mixed departments to create a marketing strategy for a client. (This exercise can obviously be tweaked depending on a company’s objectives.) This forces each department to think outside the box and realize the responsibilities of other team members.

Exposes Hidden Talents

Company retreats are great ways to discover things you didn’t know about your coworkers. Maybe a marketing assistant is also an incredible chef or a developer is actually an accomplished musician. Getting away from the daily grind gives team members the chance to unwind and discover more about one another. If you hold a “roast” of team leaders or have a talent show, any money raised can be put towards a charity.

Builds a Stronger Team

You see your coworkers every day, but spending a couple days away with them outside the office environment creates a feeling similar to gathering with your extended family on Thanksgiving. A team that acts like a family tends to have better communication, enhanced trust and increased productivity. If you want to challenge employees and inspire thoughtful conversations, mix up the groups and encourage people who don’t normally work together to share ideas. Nominating a retreat committee and including individuals from every department will ensure that you’re considering buy-in from each area of your company in the planning process.