Do You Want To Know What Events Can Do?
How can small changes in our organisations create a modern model of work that can make the nation happier, and the first quarter more productive for all?
I was on the tube a few weeks back, and I overheard two girls talking to my left.
“Awful night’s sleep last night.” One groaned and her friend nodded.
“Seems like everyone did. The nation’s collective anxiety about coming back to work I guess.” She shrugged.
It really made me think.
There’s something inevitably and unavoidably depressing about going back to work in January.
After the splendorous and spectacular fanfare of the near-two month festive build-up, January sneaks up on us like an unwelcome shadow. And as we reach the cliff edge of one year, we suddenly find ourselves plummeting into another, and land in a heap back on the commuter train.
Once the warmth of Christmas fades and the fireworks of New Year’s Eve become but an echo, winter lingers on persistent and stubborn and it seems we no longer have anything to look forward to. We’re stuck behind computer screens during the 4 hours of daylight, slogging through the backlog of emails we missed over the holidays, arriving and leaving work in darkness.
The only indications that this will, in fact, ever end, is the supermarkets stocking their shelves with seemingly-mocking enthusiasm for Valentines day, Mothers’ day and Easter as the clock strikes Midnight on a new year.
But if you really think about it… it’s all self-inflicted.
We’ve effectively engineered ‘January Blues’, and by doing so, we’re dooming our workforce.
While December is full of parties, fancy dress, bonuses and just generally eating, drinking and being merry, we cut it short like a needle scratch on a record as soon as the New Year begins and enter a barren landscape of the first quarter.
How are we expected to be invigorated, inspired and motivated for the year ahead on that kind of comedown?!
We’ve made it impossible for ourselves, so I say, we don’t come down.
I say we don’t stop the party after December. We ride that high right on through the New Year.
Look at all the events we’ve created; if we can theme the latter half of October with cobwebs and pumpkins, invent Valentine’s Day in February and justify to ourselves that oval chocolate moulds and fluffy rabbit cartoons honour the resurrection of Jesus, then come on, we can do SOMETHING in the tender first few weeks of a new year?
Why wait for the daffodils before a spring clean?
Let’s not hibernate through the first months of the year, let’s re-invigorate them.
Let us embrace the humanity of our workforce and demonstrate compassion and empathy for the needs of those humans. We should be following in the footsteps of our European neighbours Norway, who have adopted a government-backed tax break which means citizens only pay half tax in November so they have enough money for Christmas.
I say we turn the whole of January into a festival.
Instead of dragging our employees kicking and screaming back to their desks, we temporarily suspend the normal work day structure, and use the time that we all pretend to work to do something valuable, fundamental and important.
We ease employees back into work rhythm, allowing them the first two weeks of five-hour work days, so they have a chance to see daylight. We run workshops and informal seminars to understand the people behind the job titles, are they happy are they with their jobs? Can we help them be happier?
Forget Black Friday slashing prices ahead of a Christmas splurge, how about Blue January, offering discounts and vouchers because we’re broke after spending all our money on Christmas?
Let’s have parades, hand out free ‘survival kits’ to commuters stepping off the trains to try and put a smile of their faces, let’s put a bouncy castle in the middle of Broadgate Circle. Let’s collaborate with the offices upstairs and beneath you us and throw a huge ‘IT COULD BE WORSE’ party.
The opportunities for this are boundless, and the beautiful thing is would be a win-win situation. This ‘festival of keeping your head up’ could be sponsored by the likes of Starbucks or Pret, offering exclusive discounts and delivering much needed caffeine to office blocks around London, improving both staff morale and brand reputation.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Happy Person
Never Underestimate the Power of a Happy Person
Okay, so perhaps this is not an event initiative we’re going to see rolled out any time soon, but I ask, why not?
It needn’t be a grand gesture, but for so long we’ve just accepted beginning the new year on a lethargic, miserable note, when really we should all be riled up and excited, eager to make wonderful things with the possibilities of the blank canvas ahead.
Let’s make everyone love their jobs, and the way we do that is to get the emotionally invested in what they do. And that my friends, is what an event does.
So even if we just throw a little welcome back bash – it’s amazing the effect just a bit of cake can have on team morale – a new year is nothing short of an opportunity. And what better opportunity to re-instill a bit of passion and heart in the people who make the magic.
Because what’s the ROI on motivation? More than you can imagine.
It’s time to re-humanise professionalism, and reclaim the new year from the winter blues.
It’s funny isn’t it, when I started this post I really believed it had nothing to do with events!
And now we’ve created an event to get business booming in Q1.
In my head at least there is no problem that cannot be solved by an event.
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