Making People a Priority: Face-to-Face Team Building as an Investment

One voice can sing a song, but many voices create a symphony; a symphony is far more reaching than just one voice. A symphony takes out the silence and replaces it with words, feelings, and thoughts.

Back in July, Team FHG assembled in Downtown Chicago for the event of the summer. Our hotel and regional staff embarked on a “Flash Race” (similar to the Amazing Race on CBS), tasked with using their resources and collaborating with one another to capture the essence of our city. In this digital age, it has become crucial that we as leaders make fostering valuable, human connection a priority. Creating a company culture doesn’t happen overnight, but once you have that culture in place sustaining it becomes a much greater challenge. It’s essential that face-to-face communication and collaboration never become a secondary objective – ESPECIALLY in an industry like hospitality where we thrive on it.

This year, our summer event was all about the people. I didn’t want to just schedule another meeting. While meetings are informative and idea-sharing is valuable, there are times that pure connection outweighs those benefits and simple fun proves to be more valuable. What we envisioned for this event was an opportunity for collaboration and camaraderie – pure enjoyment from the moment you landed. A day like this repeats itself in many ways.  It engages and heightens the feeling they have for their company, team and own self-worth; that carries with them. This energy engages others who then don’t want to sing their own song…but become part of the greater symphony.

When employees are happy and engaged, they are up to 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. As a result, companies with happy employees tend to outperform the competition by 20%. In addition, it supports longevity and tenure within the company. When an team member is a part of something big and energetic and results oriented, they can’t see themselves anywhere else. So, at the end of the day, having an engaged team translates to your bottom line.

Spending an afternoon in a big city like Chicago, seeing our team members walking down the street in their blue FHG shirts only reminded me of what a powerful force we are. I firmly believe that a field of great people motivates leaders to be better and if people see that their leaders care, they are given all the more reason to invest themselves in our vision and objectives. You get what you’re willing to give. If you want people to care, you’ve got to start by showing them that you care too. The proof is in the very people I am surrounded by every, single day…they inspire me to work harder, shine brighter, and be the kind of leader that they want to follow.

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