As the title suggests the bartlett mitchell leadership team has dusted itself down after a truly horrid year and coming back with renewed “vim and vigour” as my 101-year-old Nan would say!
However, to kick-start our business against a backdrop of ‘Lockdown 3’ may seem premature or at best hopeful. Nevertheless it is vital to plan now, learning from (not dwelling on) the previous year.
Whilst avoiding over-analysis of last year, broad reflection highlights four positive standouts for me personally, regarding our teams (or as we say) #bmFamily💜💚 which are:
- Values – living your values through the good and the bad really works
- Resilience – despite events the #bmFamily💜💚 resilience was phenomenal
- Innovative – at often short notice innovation was demanded and delivered
- Mental wellbeing and support – we all learnt the importance of this
Taking the above into account, last year we began our planning for 2021 and here are two ideas that are useful to share.
New Year Resolutions or Mindset Change?
It is understandable that some of our teams are suffering Covid-fatigue and now require clarity and direction from us as their employer, to support both in their professional and personal lives making Wellbeing and wider Mental Health a priority.
Firstly, we launched a simple Three Ps initiative, focusing teams on Positivity, Purpose and Perspective.
By starting our days, video calls, meetings and even phone calls, focusing on the positives, being grateful for what we do have and celebrating much smaller things.
In late December our Senior Team gathered to write the bartlett mitchell 2021 Business Plan, these objectives for Sites, Regional Ops and Central Teams provides clarity of direction (politicians take note!) for all our teams. This Business Plan combined with measurement and regular honest communication, enables teams to be truly unified by purpose. We all need a “Why” to get motivated.
Throughout December the #bmFamily💜💚 undertook a bm Advent Calendar of Kindness. This saw team members take part in different daily activities, linked to the calendar e.g. donate items to a foodbank. These positive acts saw our teams gain some new daily purpose and many took it further by volunteering and sharing their stories.
These kind acts within communities or for charities, gave our teams such a boost, but also perspective that no matter how bad we may have it, many others have it worse.
December was such a Mental Wellbeing success, as part of our team engagement planning, our managers and directors have compiled a Tool Kit for supporting communities and charities both for teams and individuals.
Social value will continue to play a part in the business future, with clients demanding it, customers wanting it and teams needing it.
Our approach to solutioning and planning has become much more collaborative, whether this is with clients, suppliers or team members, this is driven by four main factors:
- The demand for quick agile solutions to new problems
- Getting remote virtual stakeholders moving in the same direction
- Restoring client/supplier operations when many teams are furloughed and businesses hibernated
- A thirst by our own teams to be included to help in the solutioning
The above has focused stakeholders to use “Collaboration” as the vehicle to overcome challenges and achieve objectives – often in much shorter timelines.
We are currently enjoying this agility on a number of projects, including supporting some in-house catering operations, that pre-Covid we may not have entertained.
Finally, on Collaboration and Inclusion we should also pay tribute to our hospitality sector and one of our representative bodies UK Hospitality. As an industry we have all really collaborated, competitors have come together in order to drive initiatives like the Food Service Circle and pushing Government for a Minister of Hospitality! Great to be a part of this hardworking representative body.
So, a few tips on how to kick-start a business in 2021
- Be positive and put in place multiple initiatives to support the mental wellbeing
- Have a plan to provide purpose for your teams, and give managers tools to make it happen
- Engage and collaborate with teams, clients, suppliers and other industries to drive innovation
- Be agile and open to change
Good luck to everyone, as we all focus on getting our operations match fit for when business returns.