Today is World Happiness Day. By complete coincidence, it’s also the day we had our Staff Day, and our AGM. Which is all very apt, as happiness runs through everything we do, from our vision to our ideals, our goals, our hopes and dreams for our staff team, the experience we give our passengers on our buses, and our community at large.
During the course of the day with the team we explored a number of questions such as “Your aims for The Big Lemon”, “What you most enjoy about your job”, “One thing you would change” and “One thing you want to do before you die”. Without wanting to get too morbid, the aim of the day was to take a step back from the coalface (or the renewable energy frontline!) and consider our priorities, hopes and dreams, for The Big Lemon but also for ourselves and our colleagues.
Following all this hard work it was time for a well-earned cup of tea 🙂
Then it was off to the pub for team Sunday lunch before heading over to Brighton’s wonderful new community arts and cultural centre, the Synergy Centre, for our AGM. Here we joined The Big Lemon’s shareholders and members of the community of over 150 bondholders to look at our progress of the last year, and our plans for this year.
After a presentation and questions over last year’s progress and our plans for this year we got down to the formal business of the AGM, which was to decide how to allocate the company’s surpluses, and vote fresh talent onto our Board of Directors.
We have been blessed with two incredibly talented people with very relevant skills, Mitali Mookerjee and Martin Ashby, who were both elected to the Board and will make a huge difference. We were also lucky enough to have an offer of help from a local graphic designer, Mark Griffin, who will help us make our business look the business.
Finally, we discussed how we allocate our surpluses. There was a proposal from the Board that 80% of our profits will be re-invested, 10% will be paid in a dividend to our shareholders – the first dividend we’ve ever paid – and 10% to our staff as a thank you for all the hard work. Happily, everyone agreed unanimously to the proposal and a motion to have equal staff and shareholder ‘pots’ moving forward was also unanimously supported.
We won’t be millionaires next year but we have lots of exciting plans, our shareholders are benefitting from a dividend for the first time, and our staff have a pot of gold to do something amazing with. Happy with that 🙂