Reflections on achievements during the pandemic
If your business is still here in January 2021, then you’ve done well. But, if you want things to be different this year, if you want to grow and to thrive, we’ve got some answers.
Towards the end of another remote meeting, at the end of an increasingly remote 2020, a client said ‘oh, I’ve made no real difference to anything this year – I’m just happy to have survived’. In the discussion that followed, we identified many things that had in fact been achieved this year, all of which had been temporarily overshadowed by the pandemic. Above all, she had got her business into a leaner, stronger one than ever through transforming the way that her employees behave and perform.
Spending time reflecting over the festive slowdown and HR Elite’s 2020, I’m proud to say that we’ve more than ‘just survived’; we’ve grown our client numbers and made a real difference to those clients who wanted to do more than just ‘get through to 2021’.
In 2020, rather than just reacting to client problems, we worked proactively with some of them and provided bespoke packages that, whilst different for every client, share some core elements that have helped companies to prepare for growth and success in the future. Here are those core elements:
Start with a problem – don’t invent one. Business owners were typically asking ‘how can I get my staff to take more ownership?’, ‘The culture is all wrong – how do I change it?’ and ‘How do I get more productivity from people?’ . These problems had been around for a while, but during the first lockdown, they’d had the time to think about their business, where they wanted it to go and what was stopping it from getting there. Now they wanted and needed to do something about it.
Where do you want to be? Frequently this work starts with identifying where the company wants to get to, what its vision is, what the big picture future is that is often in the mind of the business owner, but that no one else really ‘gets’. Once staff understand the vision, the values underpinning it and how their behaviour helps to achieve it, it makes a world of difference to attitude, motivation, interpersonal relationships and bottom line productivity.
What needs to be done? As it’s unlikely that there is just one thing that needs to change, we’ve involved staff in identifying the pinch-points and been able to put workable plans in place to get things right. This has often meant systems, processes, training and development in getting the right structure in place, putting the right people in the right jobs, transforming recruitment and selection so that new staff have the right values and behaviours, developing staff through simplified performance review processes (the Annual appraisal is SO last year!) that really motivate people and so on. “Getting the right people in the right places, doing the right things” sounds easy enough, but in the middle of a lockdown, it’s easy to understand why some businesses knuckled down and hung on by their fingertips, hoping everything would turn out OK, rather than seizing the opportunity to get ready for the future.
Developing leaders in hard and soft skills. HR Elite has a fantastic track record of delivering management training in HR related subjects, but this year we have made such a difference by also using our skills in business coaching, emotional intelligence and personality preference tools like Myers Briggs. Coaching managers to be able to conduct really effective one-to-ones, give constructive feedback and deal with tricky situations in an environment where everyone knows what is expected of them has delivered real change and a brand new approach to people management.
Knowing what we do about employment law has of course helped our clients with the more difficult people decisions along the way, but having leaders and senior team members in place that ‘get’ what the company is all about and what needs to be achieved has really turned around some of our clients’ workforces.
Working with clients in a partnership approach continues to bring in fantastic results and so much is different for them now – they have engaged workforces that understand the Company vision, are demonstrating (and being measured on) the values that underpin that vision and are making brilliant progress towards their goals – even if that goal is for the MD to free up his/her time to concentrate on enjoying running their businesses, while trusted colleagues get on and work IN the business.
For more information on what difference we can make, please contact us today on 01206 700 690 or email@example.com