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Leading from the front!

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As accredited members of The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (The REC), Compass Point Recruitment has had a constant ‘ear to the ground’  following the Covid-19 Pandemic and the best practices for businesses.

However we have been considering Leadership more recently and things for you to consider if you are the one at the helm of the business, leading from the front and keeping your ship from sinking in these unprecedented times!

After spending the last 3 months speaking to our clients and candidates, we have a better understanding of how businesses are coping and how candidates are feeling too, in this uncertain market.  Here are some of the key points we felt might be pertinent when leading your team out the other side of Covid-19:

Communication:

Maybe the most obvious one, but also potentially the most important! This will have a massive impact on the business you bring out the other side, the successes you have and the people that come with you!

Make sure you are talking to your team about new working structures, changes in the business model and returning to work following Furlough – with Covid guidelines etc. and, if possible, get them involved in the process.  Many staff may feel out of control at this time and suspect they may be up for redundancy because they haven’t been reassured that the changes being made are unlikely to affect them.  So whilst we understand you won’t have all the answers, keep that dialogue open with your team!

Please do not take it for granted that the team member who has been employed with you for years feels “valued” in these challenging times, it is important for you to have 1:1 zoom or socially distanced meetings with all members of your team, at every level!

Technology has really come into its own and enhanced the way we work and communicate, especially during lockdown and with businesses working from home or even whilst Furloughed for quiz night!

Have you made the right adaptions to keep your team WFH connected? Zoom and Team have been some of the more commonly used programs keeping everyone in touch!

Networking:

This has been an amazing function throughout this crisis to enable people to get together and support each other with advice and guidance. Here at Compass Point Recruitment, Rebecca Thurlow – Managing Director, set up a WhatsApp group at the beginning of Lockdown No.1 to keep local Directors and Leaders in touch, to discuss what business decisions people were making on Furlough, Annual Leave, Redundancies etc. As many Business owners/MDs will know, it can be a lonely place at the top so this was a great help to many people!

Have you looked at your local Networking groups and what they are offering at the moment? Can you access any useful Webinars that might be relevant to you?

People:

Again, probably obvious and somewhat of an offshoot from Communication, but just simply checking in on people, is essential. In your business, we are probably right to assume you have some understanding of your team’s personal circumstances, on some level. Generally you will know what their ‘triggers’ are in the work place, however be sure to look out for external stressors too.

Remember your team may have parents- husbands-wives-children-grandchildren – who are all facing their own struggles during this time, and these could be influencing factors in your work place if they are not appropriately recognized and supported.

Do you have Health Insurance in your business that offers counselling advice and support? Or maybe you have access to charities in your area which could be of help to struggling employees?

Some free options available with charities specialising in this kind of support are listed below:

https://www.mind.org.uk/

https://www.samaritans.org/

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

Furlough staff vs Un-Furlough staff

Compass Point Recruitment has a long history of working with MD run businesses; many have used our services for additional support if they do not have internal HR departments. For those clients who do not have a retained HR professional, we would strongly recommend you review the various options out there to help you.

Please do not underestimate the future culture mix of Furloughed vs Un-Furloughed staff.  The Furlough staff, although feeling vulnerable, could be communicating to the working staff that they are having a ball! Whereas the working staff, most likely stretched as they are covering a lot of tasks due to being understaffed, are tired and frustrated.

The merging of the two, post Covid, will most likely need to be a key future HR issue and one, if mismanaged and miscommunicated, could result in both Furloughed & Un-Furloughed employees looking for alternative employment.

Keep furloughed Staff busy

Remember the Furlough scheme allows your team to attend training while remaining on Furlough, allowing businesses to consider cross skills training as well as upskilling for the future.  Keeping your furloughed staff involved and invested in your business can only be a positive, and it eases your conscience if you are in the unfortunate situation of needing to make redundancies, if your staff have added to their skill set. 

Mindset:

During these times, it can be easy to slip into the mindset that we are ‘existing and not living’, as we bumble out way through 2020, hoping that better days are ahead – which they are!

For many businesses and their leaders, it has been an extremely devastating few months, especially for those who have not been able to weather this storm. For those who move into the ‘new normal’ of running a business post Covid-19, we urge you to take with you a positive mind set!

Think about the things you are grateful for and what is going well at the moment! Here at Compass Point Recruitment we are a big advocate for celebrating the small wins as well as the big ones! Whether it’s that big placement we’ve been working on for weeks finally landing or that our printer has gone the whole day without giving up! Whatever a win looks like in your business, big or small, make sure you celebrate it!

Make plans for the future, talk to your team about what they want to do when we get closer to the ‘old’ normal! Should you plan a team meal? Have a gathering at your local pub? Or treat yourselves to an office takeaway?

 

Keep your glass half full, follow the law of attraction and those better days will be here before you know it!

 

In short, the only person we are expecting to have all the answers at the moment is Boris Johnson and whichever scientist is standing at the podium this week!

There is a lot of pressure on our Business Leaders, Managing Directors, HR Leads and all people in senior positions to have the answers, but the reality is, everyone on this crazy journey is trying their best to get it right, but it just might be second or third time around!

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