The Kickoff Conundrum: 10 Ideas For A Great Start To 2022
Dec 13, 2021 · 3 MIN READ
Most company leaders want to create a great company kickoff and set their teams up for success in 2022.
But, in a COVID world, company gatherings are hard to create and navigate.
Many are choosing either completely digital events or at least hybrid — digital and in-person kickoffs.
Which are a lot harder to make work.
But at the same time, digital work technologies are an opportunity to create new and different ways of delivering a uniquely powerful experience.
Now, after almost two years of dealing with the new Covid work realities, company leaders and event planners have figured out how to do a good job at the digital basics:
- Provide up-dates on plans and strategies
- Train people on new products and processes
- Even getting everyone motivated to tackle a new year with gusto
But, great kickoff events are not just about communicating information. Or even providing much needed inspiration and motivation.
As a result, most companies are about to make a giant mistake.
Boring the sh*t out of their people at kickoff.
It’s no longer enough to “get the basics right”.
Great kickoffs must be a legendary experience that bonds people together while laying out a powerfully clear vision for the year ahead.
This year more than ever, your kickoff must answer the question:
“Why should I stay?”
Because at practically zero percent unemployment, the kinds of people you want to attract, retain and develop have a lot of choice.
Connect to the vision and each other
They are most importantly about human connection. Building relationships. Connecting people to each other. And connecting people to your company’s vision and mission. It is a foundational human need. We all want to feel connected, before we get busy working together.
But, researchers are now reporting a shocking 44% of workers feel disconnected from their colleagues, and according to Gallop at least 60 percent of employees can’t honestly say they feel engaged on the job.
Given this, while shocking, it comes as no surprise that as many as 55% of people are considering a job change. Right now.
This makes the 2022 kickoff the most important ever.
And, to be successful, you must address the elephant in the room. The question most of your people are probably asking.
Given all the places I could work, why here?
To answer this question companies are thinking differently about their 2022 kickoffs. Here are some ideas:
- Ask yourself, “if our event was legendary what would it look like?”
- Establish clear kickoff goals
- Pick a theme that powerfully communicates why your company’s mission matters
- Design more than “just” an event, create an experience
- Create an environment for people to connect (digitally & in-person if you’re doing a hybrid event)
- Create digital team-building opportunities
- Create digital networking opportunities
- Incorporate regular engagement, discussion and participation into the experience
- Make it fun
- Reinforce your culture/values
For individuals to thrive, we must foster the real human connections that build relationships, teams and cultures.
Only through powerful, personal connections, can we come together in a shared sense of mission, purpose and vision.
So as you work the details and all of the moving parts involved with your 2022 kickoff, don’t forget the big picture.
Creating an experience that connects your people to each other and your mission is job #1.
NOTE: a number of market-leading sales teams at modern companies are planning to use Airspeed as the “digital icebreaker” for their company / sales kickoff events in Q1. If you’re interested in being considered for our Preview Release to use in your own kickoff event, please email email@example.com