We have 90 people coming to our Christmas party this year and not every employee is able to make it. Some are bringing partners and others not. It’s a big affair – or will be if the restaurant we have booked with gets back to me!

Working through plans for the party makes me realise what a big year 2008 has been for us in terms of team expansion. It’s a lot to digest for the new team members and for the existing team members. The Christmas party takes on the added role of introducing team members who are yet to meet each other.

Looking down the full list of employees, I realise this is not a small business any more. We probably are by usual government measures but it does not feel like it when I see list or consider the weekly payroll.

The most important thing through this expansion, on our software and retail fronts, is to maintain what we call the Tower Advantage, the community spirit of our mission to help small businesses. To do this, we need to make sure that we’re not a biscuit factory where every contact is the same and where we automate.

So, we’re taking time to ensure new team members connect with these values, add some of their own, and become part of the community. We’re not writing it in an employee manual or building it into boring corporate training – that would be too impersonal.

The Christmas party and associated events provide an excellent opportunity to share some Tower stories and help people connect, even if we’re not that small a business any more.