Lawson's Delicatessen in Aldeburgh, is a much-loved specialist food retailer on the Suffolk Coast. When the founders retired and sold the business in January 2017, the new owners asked me to facilitate an away-day workshop for them and the staff. The objective of the day was to give the staff the opportunity to share their thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of the business and explore ideas and new opportunities drawing on their years of experience in the shop.
The challenge was to create a welcoming and open environment for all the team to share their thoughts and listen to each other. It was important to make sure the team felt valued by Lawson's new owners and give them all a chance to get to know each other better.
I developed a number of exercises and games to make the day fun and engaging. We had cheese jokes, lots of post-it notes and quizzes. I worked hard to make sure that everyone was involved and listened to and to make sure the discussion kept moving.
We wrapped up the day with a tutored cheese tasting and delicious lunch. It was an unusual opportunity for the whole team to get together away from the busy shop and have the chance to chat together.
As a result of the workshop, we developed a long list of actions for the team to put into place immediately as well as identifying some interesting ideas for development or improvements that will be implemented.