‘New year, new you’ can take the credit for many a life-changing shift in personal and professional development. With the plethora of gurus, life-coaches, business coaches and ‘game-changers’ out there, the corporate and business world is never lacking in enthusiasm and motivation during the first few months of the year.
However, (since catch-phrases are the domain of the self-help world), there’s a new term to diagnose – ‘corporate lag’ or ‘corporate exhaustion’, as it is also known. The term seems to be appearing on news feeds and wires, for very good reason. We are not talking workaholics or yuppie-flu victims – those pros are in a league of their own. ‘Corporate lag’ refers to the generally sluggish state of a person or group following a high-intensity development period.
Employers are often quick to discount lack of energy, especially amongst teams, as ‘slacking off’, but a lack-lustre team can be a sure sign of a need to regroup and reset goals. Human resources specialists should be encouraged to get their team out of town and out of work-mode, according to Langebaan Country Estate Events Manager Fasweya Williams “We have definitely picked up a new trend for more fun-factor and less meeting time in our conference requests and have had to adapt our offering to boot. It definitely boosts company morale and lifts energy levels. Our most successful conferences are those that focus on activities, team-building and introspection, rather than reporting, strategizing and brainstorming.”
Leading managers are realising that their employees need to get to know each other and work on their social and personal development. “Jam-packed itineraries are a thing of the past as forward-thinking managers realise that their teams need time out too. We have even called upon professional yoga instructors to offer evening wind-down sessions.”
Chantel Reynell, Hospitality Manager at Langebaan Country Estate, says that, surprisingly, May to August are popular months for team-building and overnight, out-of-town conferences. Reynell says that resort venues such at Langebaan Country Estate have an upper hand when clients are looking for variety. “Fortunately, we have quite a selection of activities to offer our conference-goers, right here on the property and in Langebaan itself,” she says. Langebaan Country Estate is able to include golf, bowls, mashie golf, soccer, foot golf, biking and running trails, a driving range with a professional golfer on hand, netball, cook-offs and team-building activities in their conference offering – “We often find that the typical 2-day conference does not allow for enough time for our delegates to really get stuck in.” Also believing that guests don’t want to sacrifice their personal routines, resort venues allow for delegates to continue, for example, their training programs, be it running, cycling or gym and sticking to a healthy eating plan. “We have also picked up more requests for healthy food choices or low-carb menus; less pastry and more protein for menus are very prominent.
“We are certainly wading through a demanding work-place environment; continually being online, responsive and available to our jobs and careers can take its toll and begin to affect our energy and motivation. Gone are the days of debauchery, wild and wayward conference getaways, littered with hangovers and a nodding auditorium. With a bit of thought and some consideration to your team and the demands they face, a carefully planned conference can do the world of good, instil a new vigour and heal the mid-year lag.”