It’s good to be busy. Busy means you’re selling goods and services, and that revenue is coming into the business.
Yes, it’s good to be busy; but it’s also good to take a pause from the day-to-day and reflect on what you’re doing right to deliver on your goals for success, what you’ve achieved, and what you could be doing better.
That’s exactly what we did to kickstart 2024 here at Highway Care. For the first time in more than 10 years, we brought together our whole team in one single location, mixed departments up a little to help colleagues get to know each other better, and shared both updates and ideas to inspire another year of innovation.
It was an opportunity to outline details of our success over the past year with the team, and map out our ambitions for the year ahead. It was also a chance to thank colleagues for their hard work, talent and dedication, which add up to a significant contribution to both our own success and our customers’ effectiveness. Every individual on our team is part of those achievements and we wanted to communicate that message to them personally, face-to-face.
We called the day ‘Celebrate 2023, Empower 2024: our journey forward,’ and began the session by enjoying lunch together, sponsored by our IT Partner Advanced Software Ltd before the formal welcome and presentations began. We kick started by sharing a business update and outlining key areas of focus for the year ahead with a clear theme of getting back to basics, maximising the value of teamwork, and getting the job done right – first time, every time. Highway Care has always pioneered innovation, and our stand down day provided an opportunity to articulate how that principle is reflected in every aspect of our business; not just in product development and technology, but how we work with customers and drive continuous improvement at every touchpoint.
We then enjoyed a group activity, encouraging teamwork by creating a challenge to complete a jigsaw by bringing together pieces from different groups. The activity was both fun and symbolic, highlighting how important it is that everyone plays a role in achieving common goals.
As you might expect from a company that specialises in innovative solutions for a safer future, safety was a key focus for the day, supported by Paragon QHSE Management Services Ltd. Our safety moment focused on worker abuse, discussing some shocking statistics and reiterating our support for the Stamp It Out campaign. We also stressed the importance of vigilance and transparency when it comes to health & safety, with a clear call to action to ensure reporting of near misses and any observations of potential areas for improvement.
We made a point of celebrating our team too, marking long-service career milestones for several colleagues, including a 35 years service, a 20 years service, along with two ten-year and three five-year career milestones. Alongside the good news, we held a minute silence for Richard Gear, a dear colleague who worked in our production department for 20 years and sadly passed away in 2023.
Finally, we emphasised that it won’t just be our own people that we prioritise in 2024, summarising the new initiatives that will form part of our commitment to communities and creating opportunity for all this year. We revealed that we have pledged to; raise £5k for Macmillan Cancer Support, that we will enable every employee to spend a paid work day volunteering for a local cause and we will engage with 500 students through education outreach.
It was a packed programme, which was all the more reason to kick back and enjoy a few drinks, dinner and some great tunes together in the evening. It was back to business as usual the following day, but back better and brighter for taking a little time to really connect with each other.
It’s good to be busy. But if you’ve paused long enough to read this, we hope it has helped you consider the value of stepping back for a moment to reflect. Our stand down day was an invaluable moment for our business and our team, enabling us to start 2024 more energised and motivated than ever.