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How the pandemic made me a better boss in 2020

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We won’t forget 2020 in a hurry. A tragic pandemic. Lockdowns. Unprecedented economic catastrophe. Has there been anything positive?

Well, actually, yes!

Behind every cloud is a silver lining, as they say. Especially when you resolve to see the glass as half full, not as half empty – as I always try to do.

What seemed like adversities and inconveniences for our recruitment agency in Basingstoke at the start of the year, have actually created really healthy change in the long run, not least for me as an Operations Director.

Our team of recruitment consultants has moved to remote working, with a virtual office in Basing View. It was inevitable that this would change our culture and my management style – but I never could have predicted just how positive a shift this would be.

Autonomy

I’ve never wanted to be a man manager, and certainly not a micro manager, but when you’re physically sitting together as a team it can accidentally start to creep in. With the best intentions, of course. You witness someone doing something the long way round and naturally you want to roll your sleeves up and help them approach it more efficiently.

Now that we work in separate spaces, these situations don’t arise as often. My colleagues know I am here for them 100% if they need me, but they are more than capable of figuring challenges out without me!

This increased autonomy has allowed them to blossom and thrive and our business is stronger for it.

Strategy

By taking a step back from the day-to-day tasks, I’ve been able to find more time to concentrate on strategic elements of the business. The working world is changing rapidly and recruitment needs to evolve at the same pace. I’ve got more time research growth areas and to keep abreast of changes in employment regulations.

My eyes are on the horizon, not just the path directly in front of me. This means we can provide a more strategic service for our clients and candidates.

I’ve always been passionate about supporting community projects and I’ve also been able to give more attention to the local causes close to my heart.

Technology

“You’re on mute” isn’t reportedly the most-used phrase of 2020 for no reason! Zoom, WhatsApp, Teams…they’ve come into their own this year. As with many organisations, our team might be physically separated but we’ve found our groove with all the virtual meeting technology available to keep us connected.  In fact, we’ve introduced ‘the hump day huddle’ where we get together via TEAMS; when restrictions are lifted this will move to a regular physical meet-up.

Our technological capabilities would never have evolved so fast if it wasn’t for remote working being thrust upon us.

We’ve also been making the most of Paiger. It allows us to find interesting industry and topical news stories across a broad spectrum of media and easily share this across our team – so they can provide a consistent stream of interesting information to their connections on LinkedIn and spark debates and conversations.

Change means growth

Businesses in certain sectors across Basingstoke have had increased demand for candidates this year, whilst others have needed outplacement services.  Needless to say, I’ve been a busy person with little time to keep up with my classic Russian literature, but I did come across a quote from Tolstoy the other day that seems relevant to this blog:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

There are many world events outside our control right now, but how we react – and adapt – to them can teach us valuable new approaches, skills, and fresh ways of thinking.

Need recruitment services in Basingstoke? Just give Wote Street People a call on 01256 799 127 or email maxine@wotestreetpeople.co.uk

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