Your greatest asset

The last few weeks have been some of the most challenging businesses have faced. Energy has been focussed on maintaining cashflow, setting up new systems, changing working practices, obtaining grants and benefits and for many working out if and how business can even survive.

While all this is important, the only reason a business exists is for people and the only way a business survives is by having people to operate it. It may sound a cliché but for any business, people – workers and employees – are your greatest asset. If you have furloughed staff, just because they are not working does not mean they no longer exist.

Most people want to work and miss being part of the social fabric of the workplace. If you can, keep in touch with your staff even if this is just a weekly email to let them know what is happening with the business. Tell them if there are plans for the future but most of all let them know they are not forgotten.

Many employees, like me, are currently working from home. I am lucky. I have an “office” at home and a very supportive husband. For others it is not so easy. Whatever the situation, it is important to ensure workers remain involved and do not become isolated.

You will no doubt have sorted any practical issues with desks and computers but keep checking if there are other issues. Hold regular online team meetings to discuss business issues and general concerns but also take time to ask members of staff individually how they are coping and if there is anything they need.

Most importantly listen to the responses and act on them if you can. All workers, whether they are furloughed, working from home, or carrying on in the new socially distanced “normal” of the workplace, have experienced change and the stress that can bring. Despite that change, they are still your greatest asset so treat them as such. Take their suggestions, thank them for their contribution and hopefully together you will succeed in the future.

Carol Draper FCCA Clifton-Crick Sharp & Co Ltd

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