As the daylight hours shorten, colourful lights emerge to illuminate the long, dark nights. Our cozy shelters invite us to gather. This is December and, in Canada, that means it’s time to reflect and celebrate! A month of diverse celebrations, December is a time for coworkers, families and friends to socialize together, relax and recharge. […]
Many organizations are facing a dilemma: 60 percent of employees do not want to come back to the workplace after working remotely for two and a half years. At Innovators Alliance, we are seeing a similar reluctance to get back together in person, so let’s take a closer look at this trend and how to resolve it.
The Value of In-Person Meetings
According to Forbes magazine, some meetings work better in person, such as discussions of complex topics and innovations. In-person meetings are also most effective for establishing or re-establishing connections between team members or checking out newly configured office space. In-person meetings also reinforce culture and foster engagement when managed effectively.
At Innovators Alliance, we know the value of meeting in person. Live networking establishes connections of trust and sharing that don’t happen to the same extent online. We know our members cherish the tips they learn from each other—after connections are made at our in-person meetings.
Innovators Alliance member Steve McGowan has said, “Having those friendly faces around the table, helping guide you in dealing with these problems is invaluable.”
Acknowledging Post-Pandemic Stress Disorder
Do you know someone who’s still reluctant to join larger groups with unknown contacts?
Psychotherapists are noting an increase in what is being called ‘post-pandemic stress disorder’ (PPSD) as a result of the relentless trauma experienced during the COVID pandemic. Distressing experiences that people may have experienced during the pandemic include fear of infection, job loss, lockdown, loneliness, loss of social life, and isolation due to quarantine.
Although PPSD has not been introduced to the international classification of mental and behavioral disorders yet, therapists are observing recognizable patterns of thinking and behavior such as social withdrawal; negative or catastrophic thinking; disrupted sleep; feeling numb, powerless or hopeless; lacking motivation; and increased anxiety, irritability or anger.
Businesspeople are noticing that some folks are not willing to re-engage socially as they did before the pandemic.
As leaders, we need to move past this fear and malaise. We need to acknowledge and understand the fear and model getting through it.
One way to start is to choose a group of 10-15 individuals who you meet with on a regular basis. Perhaps you’ve already resumed in-person operations at your business, so you’ve expanded that circle of contacts.
Another circle you should expand for your own professional wellbeing is your circle of peer advisors—other business leaders who value the time to share concerns, recommendations and inspiration with fellow business leaders.
Now is the time to be meeting with your peers and working through this fear of re-engaging so you can discuss effective strategies for getting workers back to your workplace.
How do we get people back together?
Here are 5 suggestions from Forbes:
- Give people a reason to attend in person.
- Help people feel safe. For example, meet in a large room that allows for lower density, make masks and sanitizer readily available, and build in breaks for people to get outdoors. Be honest with attendees about your own hesitations about getting back together and how you dealt with your fears.
- Provide a remote option for attendees.
- Engage in check-in/team-building/icebreaker activities to help people connect/reconnect.
- Include structured social interaction during meals and breaks, demonstrating further value for attending in person.
At Innovators Alliance, we encourage business leaders to help each other. We do that best by meeting in person and having those deep, reflective conversations that only happen in a ‘safe space’ with peers you trust. If you’re concerned about returning to our live meetings, let us know how we can make this a safe space for you.
If you’re feeling ‘stuck’ about getting back to in-person meetings, challenge yourself to reconnect with people you value, like Innovators Alliance’s trusted group of business peers. Focus on the benefits you’ll get from exchanging new ideas and gathering invaluable business intelligence.
We look forward to seeing you and exchanging ideas with you again!
If you’ve ever wanted to reach out and discuss your business challenges with other like-minded entrepreneurs, consider attending an Innovators Alliance event (in-person or virtually) to explore a fit for you and your business. You’ll meet other business innovators, share knowledge about handling business challenges, and discuss solutions in an atmosphere of confidentiality, respect and mutual support.
The post Let’s Get Together Again! Why In-Person Meetings Are Still Important appeared first on Innovators Alliance.