The power of connection: Russell Bedford runs its first virtual Happy Hour

April 2020

As the network continues to evolve and adapt to ever changing work practices, the Central Office team at Russell Bedford have been actively working towards developing new strategies and concepts that ensure our members continue to receive the membership value they expect.

One thing we’ve learned over the past number of weeks is that our members really value remaining connected with other members and this led us to organising an online social event to facilitate that need for connection.

On Friday, 24 April 2020 over 70 representatives of Russell Bedford member firms from around the globe came together online for our first ever virtual Happy Hour.

Members shared some of the challenges they have faced as they continue to adapt to the new norm, telling stories of their experiences in lockdown. Some joined with their children and other members of their families, and others shared advice on how they are managing in sometimes difficult circumstances. The overall sentiment, however, was one of resilience and hope for a better future.

The success of the event validates the importance of social interaction, an aspect of our global network that has always been at the forefront of our value system – collaboration being one of our core business values. And although we’re all keen to return to a time when we can be together, for now we’re making the best of a difficult situation.

So, what did we learn from our first Happy Hour?

  • We learned that connecting with colleagues, even when it’s through a computer screen, is incredibly uplifting
  • Hearing from colleagues on the challenges that they’re working through really helps to make you feel less alone in your own challenges, and take inspiration from how others approach issues
  • The lockdown has sparked much creativity in terms of problem solving; our members are having to come up with solutions to new challenges at speed and they’re doing so with surprising ease and success

Keeping in touch and checking in with each other has never been so important; no business wants to see their employees fall through the cracks and out of touch with their colleagues or disconnected from their business mission.

We need to ensure that we are communicating effectively and listening to each other. Finding joy in the small things while working hard to balance workloads with other commitments. Remembering to smile through adversity while sticking together, even if for now that can only be virtually. Leaning on those around us when we need them, while being the support for others when they need us. We’re adapting to these strange times but that doesn’t have to mean we can’t thrive in these times.

Happy Hour concluded with a fabulous rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ by our ‘in-house’ pianist, the son of one of our Mexican partners – a heartfelt ending to a very special hour of connection with Russell Bedford members.

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