The Eagle Blog

The Benefits of Face to Face Contact

Much of the work we all do in today’s world revolves around email and voicemail, text messaging and instant messaging. These are all great tools and can certainly help us stay connected and improve productivity … if we don’t let them become too pervasive.

Having said that, the value of in-person contact really can’t be underestimated. It is extremely hard to build a relationship via email and voicemail, not that it can’t be done, but the richness of the communication is lost when the senses are reduced to seeing an email or hearing a voicemail.

I do understand the power of the written word, with my daughter as a great example having, over the years, established pretty solid relationships with people all over the world. At 22 years of age, she has actually met quite a few of them now … and my fervent hope is that none of them turn out to be 60 year old perverts posing as twenty-somethings!

This past Friday and Saturday, Eagle had its semi-annual staff gathering in Toronto. We fly our people in from the various offices across the country for a couple of days of training, networking and fun. As a company this is a big expense, with flights and hotel rooms, meeting facilities and dinners, entertainment and trainers … and booze! Of course there are also the intangible costs associated with people being out of the office to travel and attend such an event, plus the inevitable post-event traumas … sickness and hangovers!

Is it worth it? I guess the answer would depend where you are sitting. In pure dollars and cents it is a hard sell, the costs come directly off the bottom line so we need to sell a bunch of business to make up for that. On the other hand we all get to talk, party and negotiate with our colleagues across the country, many of whom may have only talked on the phone before.

If you want to have a corporate culture that is consistent across the country then this is one way to achieve that. The teams get to hear the messages and ask the questions together. We have an informal “ask the executive” session, accompanied by beers, and everyone is free to ask the tough questions. It is a great way for the teams to understand why we do the things we do!

As a company we try to communicate a lot. We have regular conference calls, we have regular email communication but as a CEO there is nothing quite like being able to sit and drink a few beers while chatting with everyone in the company!


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4 thoughts on “The Benefits of Face to Face Contact

  1. From an employees perspective I can tell you that I appreciate the time and effort that goes into the functionals. I, for one, appreciate it all and learn something new from the guests you bring in for us and even more from the staff itself (yes, over beers – guilty as charged). Our key differentiator should be that our people make us strong…we are like-minded, nimble and sharp as hell. It’s cheesy but true…our strength comes from within…
    WE ARE EAGLE!!

  2. From an employees perspective I can tell you that I appreciate the time and effort that goes into the functionals. I, for one, appreciate it all and learn something new from the guests you bring in for us and even more from the staff itself (yes, over beers – guilty as charged). Our key differentiator should be that our people make us strong…we are like-minded, nimble and sharp as hell. It’s cheesy but true…our strength comes from within…
    WE ARE EAGLE!!

  3. I can honestly say having attended a few coporate events over the years that I have never enjoyed myself so much and more importantly been so impressed by the level of participation and disclosure at all levels of the Eagle team.

    I can only imagine the cost of hosting such an event, but I truly believe it will prove to be worth the investment. The comments I am hearing in our office this morning are glowing and the staff recognizes and appreciates that this represents a considerable investment in us.

    This weekend also saw The Eagle exec team show they are truly walking the talk….and for employees that will ALWAYS be what’s important!

    Now I have to get back to work and get a few more closes to make sure we have another great event like this next year 😉

  4. I can honestly say having attended a few coporate events over the years that I have never enjoyed myself so much and more importantly been so impressed by the level of participation and disclosure at all levels of the Eagle team.

    I can only imagine the cost of hosting such an event, but I truly believe it will prove to be worth the investment. The comments I am hearing in our office this morning are glowing and the staff recognizes and appreciates that this represents a considerable investment in us.

    This weekend also saw The Eagle exec team show they are truly walking the talk….and for employees that will ALWAYS be what’s important!

    Now I have to get back to work and get a few more closes to make sure we have another great event like this next year 😉

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