Use this time to build a culture that future employees will want to be part of.

Build a culture you can be proud of

These are testing times….to put it mildly. Many businesses, certainly in our beloved events sector have been brutally slashed in terms of revenues and therefore the necessary and unfortunately inevitable people cull. It’s very sad to see. 

Yet I have spoken to many businesses that are using this quiet time to rethink their strategies and in some cases, ask themselves a few key questions such as: what are they doing and who are they doing it for? Being forced to stop and take stock is a rare opportunity that I believe we should all grasp. A chance to revisit core values and engage with our customers and staff members to ensure that not only do our businesses have the correct focus but also the correct values. Mental and physical wellbeing will play a major role in that discussion. 

During a lockdown, I have realised how lucky I am. I live in a lovely part of the world and every lunchtime, come rain or shine, I take my dogs out for a walk in the local woods and commons. I take my lunch and I ‘tree bath’ (as the Japanese call it). Quite simply, I walk the dogs and sit under a secret place in the woods to have my lunch. During my daily 1 – 1.5 hour trip I try and switch off and not listen to/engage with any work-related activities (unless someone calls me) but I do occasionally listen to podcasts. I have a wide variety of podcasts and I love this type of media.

On the latest pod, I was listening to a BBC Radio rugby update and the interviewer was asking a newly appointed rugby coach how he had managed to turn round his club’s fortunes so quickly. His answer was simple and so powerful. He said that all he did was get his side back enjoying playing rugby. Nothing else matters (he said). He wasn’t looking for results and he wasn’t looking for performances, he just wanted his players to enjoy themselves. Needless to say, it worked and from nowhere, they are now in the final.

That got me thinking about our industry and our talent. That rugby coach knew he had bucket loads of talent, he just needed to find a way to unlock it. Like our industry, we have plenty of talent and when we get back to hiring instead of firing they will have a choice of places where they will want to go and work. So take this chance to look inwardly and focus on your work/brand culture. What sort of employer do you want to be? What sort of person do you want to attract? There are many things to think about (now). Mental health support, flexibility, diversity, creativity, sharing…the list goes on. Nowhere in there does it mention ‘results’. If you commit to building a culture that people will want to come and work at each day – you will attract the top talent and the results will come.

Times have changed – how have you and your business changed to embrace the new order?

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