It’s our 10th year anniversary party but we’ve had a terrible year – how can we celebrate that?

Dear Aunty B,

So here is the scene. I am utterly mentally and physically exhausted but can see the end of the financial year in sight.

It has been an awful year for my industry, and staff have worked so hard yet we got nowhere near budget.

We are having a big end of financial year party and are also celebrating our 10th anniversary as a company. I will be addressing my staff at the party. What is the right tone to take?

I want to be very honest about the position we are in, but I don’t want to demoralise them any further, and I actually need to gee them up for next year.

Can’t see the wood for the fires,

Melbourne

 

Dear Can’t see the wood,

A decade old! Congratulations to you and all your team. Aren’t you fabulous!

For 10 years you put everything on the line, provided skills and a future for your employees and you have battled though those first few awful years to get to where you are now.

Which brings me to my point: Separate out the occasions.

In your mind you are mixing your 10th birthday with a crappy year because you are burnt out and muddled. Yes, give a nod to this year’s financial performance. Acknowledge in your speech that the year has been really tough.

But, like you, your staff need a mental break from pressure. They need to feel good about what they do, ready for the battle next financial year.

So this is primarily about celebrating the past 10 years and looking forward to the future. Schedule strategy sessions for early July where you run through numbers and focus people on the year ahead. Make sure you bring in smart outsiders who can provide valuable perspective and get them to address your team for some fresh thinking and motivation.

And, lastly, you need at least 10 days (two weekends, one week) break to totally switch off. You will go somewhere very hot or very cold and you will completely switch off from work and open yourself to your loved ones and surroundings. You will return recharged to face a better year – I promise!

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

 

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