As England heads into a second period of lockdown during November, Top Banana CEO and Founder, Richard Bridge shares why it’s important to kick off your back to business messages in 2021 with a bang…
We’ve been affectionately nicknamed ‘King of the Kick Offs’ by a client of ours, and although we take the compliment, we do genuinely see psychology and process behind them, and right now, they’re more poignant than ever before.
Over the last 6 months, we’ve all been rolling with the punches, fighting fires and dealing with the now, but suddenly, we find ourselves in a phase where looking ahead and planning for the future is going to make or break us; it’s time to start our next chapters, whatever they may be, and re-engaging employees into the right mindset is going to be fundamental to success. It’s more than just re-invigorating sales teams and setting goals – we’ve been physically apart and disconnected for months, and this is prime opportunity to re-instate culture, values and transparency for your businesses’ future, which for many is looking different to what you anticipated at the start of 2020.
Time, we have discovered, is precious, and given that we still can’t truly physically re-connect with one another – hand feeding your employees a moment to re-connect with leaders, the business and one another is going give everyone the space to re-set, re-evaluate and feel part of something great again. Getting the message right and ensuring it’s powerful is just one part, my top tips for a successful kick-off event are these…
1. Let your staff know they matter
Furlough has knocked a lot of us for six and not everyone is feeling pumped on returning to work after months at home, feeling like they’re not contributing to a business like they once were. What’s more, with redundancies and restructures – some of your employees may be returning to work in a slightly different team or business sector entirely. What hasn’t changed, however, is their value and their importance to business success. Everyone is a vital cog in the wheel, and rallying your team in unison whilst relaying a message of gratitude for everyone’s contributions over the last 6 months will inspire employees to get back with a bang and look forward to starting fresh
2. Give employees their moment
We’re not in the office to feel together or connected and for some businesses, it’s going to be much later into 2021 that employees are physically reunited. We can’t motivate our colleagues over coffee breaks in the kitchen or have mini-meetings by the water fountain – those moments have gone, but it doesn’t mean that they weren’t important. Give staff that time, serve it to them on a plate and let them connect in breakouts, in discussion groups and in fun activities. You’ll re-empower them to share their concerns, their best practice ideas, and common challenges – providing the space for open conversation and some cross-team, clique free collaboration.
3. Remain transparent
For most, this period hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. We’ve had a tough time economically, personally and letting people know that the future might be different to what you planned this time last year isn’t an admission of defeat, it’s a sign of transparency and hope. Employees need to trust and value your leaders, so kicking off your back to business messages with a candidness you may not have previously had can be a winning strategy to a successful and rejuvenated event
The power that these shared experiences have to emotionally connect us with both our business and our colleagues shouldn’t be underestimated. We see time and time again strength that can come from a single kick-off event, they signify a fresh start, a new mindset and provide an opportunity to put the past into perspective whilst allowing leaders to promote a new horizon. So much can be accomplished and over the years we’ve seen huge statistical improvements with delegates going away feeling more motivated and aligned with the business than ever before.
Although the world may have changed, one thing that hasn’t is how people communicate and engage with one another. If we all keep that as a priority going forward, we’ll come out of this on the other side stronger than ever.