Since the middle of March, as the UK headed towards social distancing and lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 virus, the BIE HR team has been in constant contact with our networks. We feel now is the time to send a thank you to everyone who has given their support and shared their experiences in the market.
One of the most consistent phrases we have heard over the last few weeks is that HR ‘has never been busier’. While the leadership teams and many functions across organisations have been hugely challenged by Covid-19, this has been a time for HR to come to the fore. Taking a lead on fast decision-making around ways of working, furlough, communications, colleague well-being and duty of care.
As a supplier working across all sectors, BIE has had the advantage of seeing a range of effects from Covid-19. From grounding fleets of aircraft, closure of restaurants through to consumer tech businesses experiencing increases in sales while ensuring a physical production environment meets social distancing requirements but can still deliver double the volume. The HR function has been instrumental in supporting these developments.
While there have been a range of complex and, in many ways, unpleasant challenges, there remains several positive outcomes.
We are seeing the use of remote employee communications help embody the behaviours and culture organisations want to live by. Virtual technology-based communications are driving a higher degree of consistent messaging. We are hearing CEOs and business leaders talk passionately about living by their brand values.
Taking BIE as an example, we have worked hard over the last 6-7 years to build a collaborative team environment, in what can be a competitive market sometimes known for an individualistic sales nature. As we all work remotely, the benefits of our team collaboration play out as we gather our teams together virtually. Week by week we are seeing the supportive nature of our team in action.
At the time of writing, our HR networks are supporting and creating new ways of working for their employees, they are continuing to focus on communications to protect well-being, but they are also starting to lift their heads up to look to the future.
While globally we need more time to see the outcome of Covid-19, and how the world might start to unlock, we are talking with contacts daily seeking advice on future operating models, approaches to the reintegration of furloughed staff while considering how the benefits of virtual working might be captured into the future of work.
The BIE HR team is connecting individuals and groups of HR leaders to share ideas and experiences. We are also creating a range of virtual meetings on a variety of areas, so do feel free to reach out and let us know how we can open our network to you.
Our thoughts go out to the NHS, Key Workers and those who have lost loved ones. We are looking forward to a time where we can see some of the positives from this period come to the fore.
We look forward to keeping in touch, stay safe and well.
Emma-Claire & Gordon and The BIE HR Team