Tough times don't last, tough teams do
I have been taking some time to reflect on the past year and how, as a Company, we have worked tirelessly throughout both lockdown periods.
Like all businesses, at the beginning of the pandemic I think we were all concerned as to how this would affect us, and I am sure the thought crossed our minds as to what our company might look like at the end of all of this, but we never discussed that, we faced this with determination.
panicking is simply not a useful survival tactic
The most important thing is that we didn't panic. Panic is not a helpful reaction in a crisis, yes there were days when we all thought 'I can't do this', but humans seem to be wired to work together to help ourselves and those close to us. The reason for this is discussed in the book The Unthinkable: Who Survives When The Disaster Strikes – And Why by author and journalist Amanda Ripley in which she suggests that panicking is simply not a useful survival tactic and ‘we probably could not have evolved to this point by doing it very often.’
We have adapted, we have changed not only how we live but also how we work.
One thing we had to keep in mind was that this had never happened, it is probably safe to say every person in the world had never experienced a pandemic before, furlough was a whole new term to us borne from the German military in the 17th Century , and no one really knew how this was going to end and in a way we still don't. Our company directors and managers were learning something new everyday and. they still are; navigating a minefield of information and sorting out fact from fiction, because our team were looking to them for reassurance and guidance. Most importantly they were patient with them whilst they tried to determine the best path through all this. We have adapted, we have changed not only how we live but also how we work.
The main priority at this time is keeping everyone who works in the company safe and well. Equally, for those who work for the company, their priority is keeping their own families safe, therefore, we are relying on everyone to make sensible decisions during their working day. This is not without its challenges, Maxwell Maltz once determined that it takes a minimum of 21 days for a behaviour to become automatic, although this has since been suggested to be more like 2- 8 months by a later study by Phillippa Lally of UCL. What we are essentially doing is asking everyone to change the way they have behaved since their life began. So we started providing regular updates, we changed our advice when we saw cases rising for a second time in order to prepare for the inevitable and we bought in new policies and procedures to keep everyone safe, highlighting the importance of clear communication, to keep the information fresh and helping people to remember what they need to do.
Our team have remained at work through one of the most difficult times in modern history
Our team, across all departments, has shown determination and resilience in the face of adversity, they have remained at work through one of the most difficult times in modern history, probably seeing their work colleagues more than some of their own family members. They have worked hard not only to keep each other safe but to still uphold the high standards expected of them and us as a company by our customers. As a result we have received so much positive feedback from customers over the past few months and that is testament to everyone working here.
In uncertain times company's can achieve amazing things in a short period of time
So, for a moment, let's consider what we have gained (yes gained!) from the COVID-19 pandemic. It has demonstrated to us that in uncertain times company's (even small ones like us!) can achieve amazing things in a short period of time that would have normally taken months or years to plan and put in to action, and this is because it allows us to bend the rules slightly and sidestep traditional routes of implementation and red tape, enabling us to organically find calm within the madness. Not only that, it has shown us that when put under pressure, teams can work together creating their own natural support networks to help each other through even the most uncertain of times.
The next year is going to be just as challenging and we must continue to work hard but, as my article title suggests, I think that Beaumont Traffic Management has shown 2020 that our team will prevail, and we of course hope for 2021 to be better for everyone.
Merry Christmas to all of our team members and thank you for your hard work this year