For many Calgary-based businesses, the first ten days of July each summer are synonymous with a slowdown of business, empty offices and packed beer gardens. Viewed by some as the least productive time of year – “no one works during Stampede” – a strong case can be made for exactly the opposite. In fact, if the unproductive undertones of Stampede can be mitigated, the Greatest Show On Earth can actually lend itself to becoming the greatest time of year for growth and development of your team and organization.
As a Calgary-based business, Salopek & Associates has no trouble seeing all the positives of Stampede, and encourages our employees to enjoy this time to connect with each other, clients and the community. Sure, your employees aren’t in the office as much, but the opportunities to spend time with clients, develop industry relationships and maximize your team and organization’s exposure is priceless. Whether it’s the rodeo, a beer tent or a pancake breakfast, allowing your team to get out of the office during Stampede will enhance employee morale, build internal and external relationships and promote your organization as a fun and flexible employer that trusts employees to manage both their workload and drinks.
With government-sanctioned early liquor service and a dress code that is likely contrary to most companies’ standard policies, emphasizing proactive professionalism to your employees is especially important. Clearly communicating the code of conduct expected when attending Stampede events and guidelines on how to appropriately dress Western is a good idea. Also important is reminding employees of the power of professional perception and social media. While they might not always be wearing a company nametag, the way they present themselves in social settings or across social media will impact their professional credibility, and potentially that of the organization. Defining and communicating expectations of employees during Stampede will mitigate your risk of negative perception and encourage employees to keep professionalism top of mind.
There are few good times to be unemployed, but Stampede stands out as one of them. With endless opportunities to network with industry peers and attend corporate pancake breakfasts, there really is no better time than Stampede to be exploring your professional options. Take full advantage of the hundreds of events around the city, and have no shame in asking your professional network, friends or family to invite you along to an event you know will be packed with industry peers or hosted by a company you would love to work for. Social settings lend themselves to the most genuine interactions, and sharing a pancake, beer or corndog with an acquaintance who happens to work for your dream employer is a valuable opportunity. Take these ten days to enjoy the flexibility unemployment provides, and be ready to clearly communicate exactly what you are looking for in a career or opportunity. Everyone will ask, and you will be shocked to find how small Calgary is when you work your network.
So this Stampede we encourage you and your organization to embrace the good, mitigate the bad and maximize the opportunity of Stampede if you are currently unemployed and searching for the right fit. Should you find your organization or team is feeling more stomped than strong during Stampede, give us a call – we would be happy to partner up and two-step around the issue with you.
Happy Stampeding from the Salopek & Associates team!