As most Covid-19 restrictions are officially lifted in England this week, Speakers Corner Managing Director Nick Gold shares his thoughts on the return to the workplace and suggests a few themes to contemplate for that first in-person meeting or conference…
My feelings last Spring went in waves, dependent on any moment in that day. I would start the day despairing that the events industry would never come back, how I might as well pack up, go home, and think about how I should get into PPE as that was the only game in town.
Yet, on other days, I was excited by the opportunity that the virtual world would bring. I loved the fact that a virtual event meant every delegate had a front row seat and the event was focussed 100% on the content that the speaker could deliver.
Those feelings were very much focussed in the moment and the rollercoaster that the conference and events industry have been on as the pandemic lifecycle has revealed itself. The lack of clarity and vision from the politicians have played roulette with the lives and careers of many people but in those moments, we were focussed on the here and now.
But, always in the back of my mind, there was the elephant in the room question that was perpetually left unanswered.
How would we, as a society, come back from all the social distancing we had to endure? Would we be able to feel comfortable touching, hugging, kissing, bumping shoulders in a crowded room or was this the start of a shift in human behaviour?
Nearly a year and a half down the road, we have seen during the periods of opening up and locking down that our appreciation for human contact, our instinct for socialisation and all the benefits it brings is stronger than ever.
The population have followed the rules and guidance to work together in the fight against Covid-19, but yet have also driven society to attempt to find the balance so that families, friends, colleagues can start feeling safe and comfortable with each other because they need and want it.
We understand, maybe now more than ever, that while our physical health might need protecting from the dangers and high risk of Covid-19, our mental health and wellbeing needs society to be functioning which allows for interaction and experience.
Bringing the team back together again
Which brings me to discuss how business leaders and managers can bring their teams back together. It is generally considered that most of us are looking forward to getting back together and meeting in the live experience. But there are some reservations, not just from a health and safety perspective, but from a relationship building stance too.
Content still remains at the heart of your event. The stories and messages from an external keynote speaker who can inspire new thoughts, discussions, and pose questions to the audience, are a vital component of any event.
For the Speakers Corner team, we can already see how an external speaker can unite your team back together. We’ve come up with a few themes to contemplate on our return to the workplace.
Teamwork and Communication
For many employees, working from home as given them a chance to experience a different work/life balance and many will want to maintain some element once we return to normal. But naturally some of us will crave the structure that an office environment brings.
Team leaders also need to unite their team who have had different lockdown experiences. Some may have been on furlough; others may have worked through the crisis to keep the company afloat. The glue that held the team together pre-pandemic has been broken and a new bond needs to be created.
Every team leader we work with wants a team that communicate effectively, who collaborate and innovate together to meet the targets set. But having spent so long apart physically from each other and with new drivers at play, it’s no surprise we’re working with speakers from the world of sport, business, politics, military and adventure explorers to share their team-building stories to inspire corporate audiences as they return to the workplace.
Insights and Expertise
The pandemic has created new challenges for everybody and we’re all seeking the answers as to what the future holds.
Your team is now a captive audience to hear from an external speaker who has the inside knowledge and expertise to navigate through this period. An external speaker will spark debate, encourage creativity, perhaps inspire to find new opportunities, and most importantly, be available to answer questions.
Do We Have the Right Mindset?
There can be no doubt the pandemic has affected every single one of us and it will continue to in some way shape or form.
We must recognise this is natural behaviour. However, an external speaker will help your team find the right mindset to focus on delivering excellence in your team, regardless of what challenges that may lie in wait.
From motivational to mental health, from adversity to sporting success, an external speaker will use their story and weave in your business goals to deliver a performance which will inspire the team to go forth and conquer.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary leaders. But, when your team is turning to you for answers, who are you and your peers turning to?
These are unprecedented times. But there are opportunities to discover even while navigating the challenges that appear all around us.
Leadership speakers will not just help unpick what effective leadership, management, teamwork, and communication looks like, but use their own story to inspire you, to inspire your teams and lead them to success even during adversity.
The Speakers Corner team have been assisting many of our corporate clients with their expert suggestions for external speakers. If you have an event in the planning, or want to enquire about a speaker’s availability, please give us a call on 020 7607 7070 or email [email protected]