Business unusual – as business owners if ever there was a time to lead then this is it!
Although we are facing an unprecedented situation, much of which is out-with our control, we need to find ways to adjust how we work and engage with our staff, our customers and our suppliers. My priority was for the staff to understand how they will be affected by this change.
Our Next Steps
We were no different from any other business in ensuring we had the capability for everyone to work from home. We were already pretty well prepared with cloud systems including our CRM, phone and office 365 software. It was great to see how our fabulous staff adapted to this change in working, some in their bedrooms, dining room tables or breakfast bars. They all coped pretty well with this!
Once we had organised for the team to work from home we started utilising the software solutions we currently had but had not optimised. Microsoft Teams has some great functionality for home working and staying connected and with the addition of a couple of apps like Zoom and Trello we found that we are communicating more now than ever!
We have introduced several new processes to ensure that our team is fully engaged and that we can offer our customers as good if not better service than ever before such as:The Daily Huddle on Teams or Zoom where our team all get the opportunity to talk about their highs and lows from the previous day and their plans for the day ahead. Introduction of an afternoon dial in and work together session where staff can join a Teams meeting and chat with each other as they go about their tasks.
We are starting to use Trello as a planning tool for tasks and collaborative working on projects which gives a great visual representation of the work in progress. We introduced Positive Vibes where each member of staff has the opportunity to say some positive things about their colleagues. This has had an amazing impact on staff morale at this difficult time.
For Our Teams DevelopmentI also believe that we have an opportunity to inspire our staff and lead them into a brighter, happier, healthier and more knowledgable future. We, therefore, had to ensure that everyone had a sense of purpose during this period so I set everyone a challenge to write down 4 goals that they could work on over the next 12 weeks.
We then worked with the team to prepare a 12-week plan where they could score their success on a weekly basis on the ‘Weekly Scorecard’. This has had an immediate impact on the wellbeing of the team and we have some great objectives from learning conversational Dutch to becoming an expert in social media marketing and to cleaning up the company server. Many of the business goals are focussed on developing skills appropriate to this new way of working which I believe will become the “New Normal” and will equip them to be more effective in their roles in the future.
For our clients we are available on the traditional methods of telephone and email but whilst we are unable to visit you or your sites we can deliver an exceptional customer experience in other ways. We are facilitating group consultations where we can discuss your site using Google Earth tools. We can share screens and mark up drawings and have the ability to involve many of our experts on the one call including bespoke designers, our landscape architect our inclusion specialist and other team members where appropriate. This is giving greater value to our client conversations and is a more sustainable way of working. I believe that this will become the new normal in our industry. We are also able to deliver a host of CPD accredited presentations where we can engage remotely with your team to deliver training events. As the situation progresses we will be able to offer different ways of engaging including webinars and podcasts so watch this space. Please have a tour of our website and get to know us a little better!