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Leadership: The Importance of an EOY Meeting


Every year in December, the entire Club Solutions team gathers in one place for our End of Year meeting. With two satellite offices and some staff working remotely, it is one of the few times throughout the year we’re all in one place, and we use the time to recap the year, brainstorm ways to improve the 12 months ahead, and most importantly, bond as a team and enjoy each other’s company.

Honestly, this is one of my favorite things we do at Club Solutions, and I think the format is something other companies could benefit from mirroring. Here’s an overview of some of my favorite activities and why I find them so beneficial.

Monday — 4:00 P.M. — Personal/Professional Goals Overview

Prior to the Monday meeting, every person was asked to send 3-5 personal and 3-5 professional highlights/things they were proud of that occurred in 2017, accompanied by pictures. Our creative director then put together a presentation, and to kick-off the meeting, each person got up and talked about their highlights and why they were important to them. This included everyone from the publisher and president, to the newest salesperson.

This was great because it gave Club Solutions’ staff an overview of each person’s year. We had a couple new employees, and through this activity they got to learn more about people they hadn’t worked with yet, and we got to learn more about them. Overall, it was just a great icebreaker. Over the next few days, a lot of the discussion surrounded things people had learned during this presentation.

If you have teammates that work remotely, I highly recommend this exercise the next time you’re all in one room.

Tuesday — 8:30 A.M. — Roundtables

If you’ve attended a Club Solutions’ Leadership Retreat or Summit, you will know our events include roundtables, providing attendees the opportunity to creatively solve issues and strategize solutions. At this year’s meeting, we did a similar format, and tackled three roundtables on important topics relating to the company.

This was great, because again, it gave every person — from the most established to the newest — a voice and opportunity to present their ideas and solutions. After each roundtable, we took two to three initiatives and assigned a project manager and due dates, to ensure our ideas were followed up and acted upon.

EOY meeting

Tuesday — 1:00 P.M. — Fun

After the roundtables, the fun commenced. We headed to the Biltmore Estate, where we did horseback riding and took a tour of the house — the largest privately owned house in the U.S., built in the late 1800s. It was a blast, providing further opportunities for the Club Solutions team to bond and be together. Afterwards, we enjoyed a great meal as a group.

These are just some highlights from the End of Year meeting, and here are additional reasons why I think other companies should do something similar:

  1. When you have people working remotely, it can be easy for them to feel like they’re on their own island. Creating opportunities for everyone to get together stresses teamwork and camaraderie, and makes them feel like part of the group.
  2. It provides an opportunity for employees to meet teammates they don’t normally work with, further tightening bonds across the entire company.
  3. Because there is a lot of fun in an event like this, it’s a great way to reward your employees at the end of the year and thank them for their hard work.
  4. It’s also a great opportunity to put all heads together to solve key issues your company may be having, and ensures all voices are valued and heard.

If you’re looking for ways to boost camaraderie and teamwork, I highly recommend doing something like our End of Year meeting. It’s something we look forward to annually.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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