By Claudia Paoletti | Managing Partner
Like many other realities, in March our company had to adapt quickly to the Government’s requests to move all employees and consultants to smart working mode. The action was rather complex considering the internationality of our group and the differences in legislation between countries. Most of our offices were closed immediately in compliance of the mandatory lockdown while some countries had a more dilated timing and our colleagues were able to work offline for some time.
One of the first essential things to emerge during this period was to create moments that would satisfy the need of people to socialize, share their fears, maintain existing relationships between colleagues and so on.
The Kilpatrick Board took up this occasion and immediately decided to adopt a shared morning greeting for all offices with a European time zone: the “morning-meeting”.
A common virtual room was created on our online communication platform where every morning first thing, colleagues took on the daily workload but also had small talk over a virtual coffee, shared thoughts or simply bonded like the would do every morning at the office.
The lockdown period surely required strong qualities of resilience and determination both from a personal and professional point of view and our “morning-meeting” certainly helped keeping alive the minds of the collaborators but also of the leaders.
Some playful moments were also created to help face the difficult moment together as a team: every day at the end of the day Kilpatrick Group had a personal trainer giving live virtual fitness sessions for those who wanted to join this unique occasion of bonding with colleagues and decompressing while training. An online taboo contest was also organized as part of the attempts to ease tension and lighten the spirits.
Released from the lockdown, as Kilpatrick, we decided to continue using the space in the morning not only for the sole purpose of bonding and socializing but took it further and started to take advantage of the moment also for training purposes.
At the present moment, our morning meetings have become less frequent but have been filled with useful and stimulating content. Colleagues from various offices around the world take turns to present their best practices to allow everyone else to capitalize on their experiences and replicate success stories. Training pills have been introduced, as well as short, intense and interactive courses aimed at stimulating change and deepening of current key topics.
We also invited important guests to be part of our morning meetings who shared some subjects of interest with us, bringing their point of view and allowing us to learn new things and grow professionally.
Taking the opportunity, we thank the guests for their valuable interventions and contributions:
- Gabriele Franceschini, Executive Human Resources Director for Italy and Global Supply Chain of Baker Hughes
- Andrea Franco, Senior Global Vice President Human Resources Industrial and Engineering Functions of Marelli
- Marco Verga, Direttore Sviluppo Persone e Organizzazione presso Aeroporto G. Marconi di Bologna
- Roman Glebov, CEO and Founder of Yummy United
- Yesim Sanal, CMO of Justsnap and Digital Consumer Engagement “Joy of Future”
- Dana Ciuca, HR Director of Agricover Group
- Giorgos Betchavas, Managing Director – Tommy Hilfinger and Calvin Klein
Now, even though the lockdown is over and the offices started to fill up and normality is getting closer (in the majority of cases still working under the mixed formula of office work and remote work), the Kilpatrick Board has decided to treasure good practices and to keep up incentivizing aggregating and engaging activities like these in the present and in the future.
Already today, some morning-meeting appointments have been transformed into afternoon-meetings or evening-meetings to allow colleagues from offices in Asia and the Americas with different time zones to participate, listen and bring their point of view for the growth and enrichment of the rest of the team.
In the discomfort and fear of the current period, treasuring our morning meetings, a moment that we managed to transform on our little shelter, our “safe space” during these months, will definitely become an integral part of our organizational culture.