I find it incredibly disheartening that in current economic times large corporations are making the decision to ditch Christmas parties for their staff. It is possible that they could take a lesson from not-for-profits in this regard, and learn a little about the power of morale boosters and how to do it frugally. For as long as I can remember, CHI.L.D. staff have contributed to their own Christmas celebrations, many years ago being a lunch on the last day of the school year, and more recently at night with music and drinks and food and a whole heap of good cheer. And it doesn’t have to be expensive to have a good time, as evidenced from the feedback I have received about our Christmas party on Saturday night. There was appropriate and enjoyable entertainment for the 20-60+ year olds, as well as the opportunity to let the hair down and enjoy the company of colleagues with whom we work. For me, I welcome the opportunity to be able to speak with the staff who I don’t see day to day but who are the front line providers of our services. It gives me a great sense of who we still are as an organisation and a great hope for the continued quality work of the organisation. Collaboration, working to a common goal, celebration of another year of successes, flexibility, deft management of near disaster (just a note that pavlova is not as hard to get off terracotta tiles as red wine stains of a white leather couch) – these are all positive signs of a workplace that I want to continue to lead into the future. At a recent neuroscience conference, I learnt that alcohol (in moderation, of course) is a great way to release the right, creative sides of our thinking, so I’m trying to work out how we can do a little workshopping at the next Christmas party to tap into this potential innovative process.
I would like to thank every staff member for their contributions this year. Every year has its challenges of course, but not without the great rewards experienced when progress is made with our clients, from the smallest steps to the biggest strides. Thank you for wanting to be part of our vision, as our Chairman so succinctly put it recently, “To be great at whatever we do”. To be great at what we do, to make a difference, a real difference, in the lives of children and young people with language disorders and their families, we need great staff – committed, optimistic, collaborative, forward thinking people who can celebrate and enjoy each other’s company, and from my perspective, it has allowed me to reflect on how lucky I am that I get to work with such great people. One Christmas party has given me enough hope and vigour for the coming year – a small investment for a celebration considered to be dispensable in the corporate world.
Vikki Rose GraydonExecutive Principal CHI.L.D Association