For the past 20 years I have worked in Human Resources and have mainly focused on building leadership capabilities and team work. During the lockdowns that have been precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, I have found that workers have found it extremely challenging to work together as a team. The challenge being faced by most teams is unlike anything else I have ever experienced in my entire career working for a restaurant accountant in Hampshire. In fact, according to a report released by McKinsey, two-thirds of the executives who were interviewed believe that this lockdown period may well turn out to be the most challenging period of their careers.
If you feel that your professional and home life has become challenging in recent times, you are not alone. Whether you have been schooling from home, working remotely, have been affected by layoffs and furloughs or you have a close relation/friend who has been affected by mental health issues during this period, you are not alone. The effects of this pandemic have affected all of us in one way or another. Despite the current challenges, one thing remains clear: a team requires the input of all members and working as a team is critical to maintaining a happy work life as well as the success of any enterprise. Any business enterprise is only as strong as the team working to achieve the goals of the business, and, for a team to be strong, there must be unity of purpose and a strong bond to glue all of us together.
A Unique Challenge
In recent years, there has never been a time like this: a period where we need to look out for each other and appreciate what each of us is going through in their personal and professional life. It goes without saying that we are all doing our best but during the past 8 months, we have all gone through unprecedented challenges. Some of us (especially introverts), may enjoy working from home because of the reduced social interaction but for others, this period may be extremely challenging. Working from home at your kitchen table together with your partner while the kids are playing around the house is not easy.
During this period, remember to be kind to your fellow co-workers, ask about how they are doing, and how life is for those that they hold dear. At the workplace, we can all thrive because the office gives us a sense of belonging but once we are plucked out of this environment, this can get hard. In fact, many of us may be feeling like a fish that has been plucked right out of the water suddenly.
To get through this period, those of us who are social can try and organize virtual team building events. For example, you can organize book clubs, quiz night, coffee breaks for the entire team or even coffee breaks. Such activities will keep the flame of unity in our work teams blazing and help strengthen existing bonds. You do not have to wait for another person to organize a bonding event. You can start your own thing and you can rest assured that it will not go unnoticed.
All I am trying to say is, set some aside in your schedule to find out how your co-workers are doing and be kind to your colleagues. Not only will this make another person’s day, it will also give the entire team a sense of belonging and strengthen the entire team. In my career spanning two decades, the best firms I have worked with make every person feel like they are a member of a family.
How Can We Help?
Given that there are many challenges during this period, we want you to know that we care. If you are experiencing any of the challenges listed below, get in touch and let’s talk…
- Furloughs and layoffs by the HR Department
- Issues negotiating leases with your landlord
- Raising funds for any project
- Talking to finance institutions about your existing loans
- Understanding insolvency
- Where to get a CVA
- Preparing an e-commerce platform or online business
- Choosing a delivery partner for your side business
- Restructuring your current business model
- Improving your marketing efforts to improve your business profile
- Dealing with HMRC
- Negotiating with suppliers for your business
- Any other issue or challenge that you may be facing.
Simply put, if you have any issue that is stressing you, remember that we care and we are here to help. To get in touch, you can call 020 8633 7700 or email [email protected]
Karen Sanders – HR Department.