The Greek philosopher Aristotle famously said that “Man is by nature a social animal.” Most of us instinctively understand the psychological benefits of celebrating life’s key milestones with those who mean most to us.

The same is true for companies. Having large or small celebrations is a great way to mark the transition from one project to the next, or one year to another. On a macro level, they provide a moment to reflect on what’s been achieved, thank all concerned, and look forward to the future. They are one of the best ways to reinforce corporate values.

And on a micro-level, they enable people to let off some creative steam and refresh their batteries before moving on to the next project or plan. They are a wonderful way to bind teams together and create a friendly working environment. They show that companies care about those who work for them.

So that’s the theory, but what about the practise? Prior to the pandemic, I think it’s safe to say that most of us took our ability to celebrate individual or corporate milestones for granted. Not any more.

Giving a loved one a hug, or meeting a friend for a coffee has taken on new meaning. We all appreciate the small things in ways that we didn’t before.

And the same was true for THP’s Anniversary Day on October 15th. It’s been 27 years since my parents founded the company and traditionally we mark the occasion with a big party at our HQ in Binh Duong Province, just outside of Ho Chi Minh City.

Thousands of employees, their families, and our business partners from all over the world come together to celebrate the wider THP family. My father is a charismatic figure with a keen sense of fun and in previous years he’s taken to the stage atop an elephant, or riding a horse dressed as a cowboy.

This year was clearly going to be very different. Binh Duong Province is situated right at the epicentre of Vietnam’s Covid storm. Since July, many employees have been working, sleeping, and eating at the factory under the government’s three-on-the-spot policy to try and contain the virus and keep the supply chains open.

But adaptability is one of THP’s key strengths. As companies get bigger, they tend to move slowly. Nimbler competitors can quickly steal a march.

At THP, we foster flexibility and innovation. So this year, we applied those skills in crafting our virtual celebrations.

My father also pitched his speech accordingly: thanking everyone for the sacrifices we’ve all had to make to keep the factories running, how we’re learning to courageously co-exist with the virus.

And Covid didn’t stop us from holding our annual THP’s Got Talent Contest. Our employees were famous for their synchronised dance routines long before TikTok ever saw the light of day.

This year we still had plenty of singing and dancing videos up for competition: filmed outside, everyone socially distanced and wearing masks. We’re hoping that none of these safeguards will be necessary next year, but one thing’s for sure is that no one will ever forget this year’s celebration.