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If only all FREE lunches were priceless…
A thought from last week, reflecting on a meeting I had with some of the team. Well some may call it a meeting but actually it was a light lunch. ‘Catch up Friday’ as it’s called. And it’s a session that I always look forward to.
Once a month, on a Friday, I get together with 12 different members of the team for an informal bite to eat. They can attend for the whole hour, 5 minutes, or not come at all if they have customer jobs to deliver on. We have been running them for about a year now. They started because it’s really difficult to have a customer focus, a business focus, an industry focus and a team focus all at the same time and we felt it was a great way to ensure we interact enough with the people that make ProCo what it is.
There are occasions when we talk about particular clients, jobs, or new technologies but most of the time we talk about holidays, our families, our football teams or in the case of today, the worst present you were ever given! The subject is not important, the interaction is, and it’s really rewarding to see people from all areas of the business who have maybe never spoken before getting to know each other. It’s even more rewarding when you see them saying hello or speaking as they pass each other a week later! And when I ask people what they thought, they all give great feedback and say how valuable it was and how much they enjoyed it.
The biggest thing for me however is every time we do it, people arrive with a feeling of expectation. Expectation that we have something important to say or that they will be asked questions that put them on the spot. It’s frightening that, even though a business can think it is very open with its wider team with good internal communications, people still think that there will be an agenda! It just goes to show how important it is to make time to talk to the whole business and to make sure you spend time getting to know what makes them tick.
No such thing as a free lunch? Well in the case of ‘Catch up Friday’, I’d say it’s priceless.
Jon Bailey – MD – 20th April 2015