Tony Raynor's Blog

The thoughts and ramblings of a small business owner

Jumping For Joy
Jumping For Joy

Why a Xmas Party in Amsterdam is Justifiable


There are umpteen disadvantages to working for a family business. I mean, owner/managers don’t take kindly to sick days so you should proffer a pretty good excuse for absenteeism. Promotional opportunities are less and pensions are derisory if available.

So why on God’s earth have Abbey Telecom booked another one of their parties abroad? This year is Holland but previous excursions have included Prague and Dublin. It all sounds a little flash but all that glistens isn’t gold.

It’s all done within the Inland Revenue maximum budget per head of £150. The facilitator is the evolution of cheap flights. 2011 is slightly more than last at £44/person return. The hotel is similarly priced leaving sufficient for the meal and drinks. When put like that it isn’t dissimilar to the company’s historic overnight stays in Blackpool, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Jumping For Joy

So how does an SME retain people? It’s an ethos and distant celebrations are purely part of it. You need to make it as enjoyable, as reasonably achievable, for the varying personalities to work in the telephone systems arena. Sure, you cannot please everyone always but have a decent go. Most of it is free; it just takes effort. Empathy is a great starting point as we are all individuals with familiar ups and downs in life. There will be deaths, illnesses, divorces and other calamities. Take time to listen and help where possible. They will appreciate it, not every-time, but in the long run it builds a cooperative team that will assist each other.

Human resource churn eats money through recruitment, induction and training. Be understanding of your individual’s trials and tribulations and they will consider yours. So what, if you have to be flexible with absence during crisis or place the odd evening telephone call? This is where we smaller operators improve our attractiveness to potential employees and ultimately clients.

Lancashire, in particular can be proud of the loyal and non-militant workforce. There’s a diligent mentality and numerous examples of world-beating accolades in such as cotton and aero systems. There have been fewer supplier incentive trips on offer over the immediate 2 or 3 years and folk can’t afford the same annual vacations.

So if the management can brighten the festive season then it should to keep morale high. History shows that it is a worthwhile investment in HR that is truly appreciated and who wants “me too” festivities? Innovation and a desire to be unique are components of all entrepreneurs so exercise your individualism and reap the rewards.


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