Amidst all the Christmas carolling and last-minute present shopping, it’s EPA season in Sodexo, and in our office that’s been cause for some serious debate. As my Sodexo colleagues will know, the Employee Performance Appraisal (EPA) focuses on a quality conversation with our managers around personal contribution, development and career aspirations. Various EPA deadlines have recently passed (with yesterday being deadline day for individual sign-off) and since EPA has been the number one searched-for item on Sodexonet for the last few weeks, I’m guessing there’s been a scramble akin to Oxford Street on Christmas Eve to get all the one-to-ones completed and submitted on time.
I’m not sure where the year has gone (don’t we say that every year?) but, having just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South America, the explosion of Christmas and winter is more palpable than any I can remember. I set off on holiday in mid-October – still enjoying the mild London autumn and not totally having accepted that summer was well and truly over – and spent three amazing weeks in various Latin American hotspots from the Andes to the Amazon. It’s always difficult coming back to reality after visiting far-flung places, but landing at Heathrow on that dull afternoon, those three weeks away suddenly felt like they had been three months. It was colder and darker, the clocks had turned back and the newest celeb on the block was Monty the penguin.