InsightsInsight - Employment & HR - POSTED: January 26 2021
Times are tough but Pictionary helps
What have the last 10 months taught you? Partner and Head of Employment Catherine Daw reflects on what she’s learnt so far from working through the pandemic.
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As an employment lawyer, you get an interesting insight into how organisations, workforces and individuals are reacting to external influences.
You see the best and worst of people, and we always say, the life of an employment lawyer is never boring. Sometimes employees do things you don’t expect and currently not only employees, but the world as a whole, are experiencing things we didn’t anticipate or plan for.
As a Team Leader and an owner member of the firm, I am not just an employment lawyer, but also a manager and a joint employer, and therefore share similar experiences to those of our clients. I want to ensure my team is safe, happy and fulfilled and they have the opportunities they deserve. I want to make work as enjoyable as it can be, but there are times when I don’t have the answers or previous experiences to rely on to help me make the right decisions. I want to participate in the development of our business. A firm that has been in existence for over 125 years needs to continue to evolve and we want it to be here in another 125 years’ time.
My experiences over the last 10 months have led me to the conclusion that:
- In times of emergency, clear, definite and short-term plans help everyone regain some control and give security to a team. Two-week plans and a clear description of what that next two weeks would look like worked for us in March and April.
- Longer term, a sense of purpose, hope and plans for the future are important. It can be too easy to focus on the now without looking forward to a time when things will be easier and what we want this to look like.
- Boredom and each week looking the same are hugely damaging to motivation and doing something different helps.
- As a team, we need to know about and acknowledge what each other is experiencing and that everyone has different challenges, whether that is the need to manage home schooling along with a full-time job or the difficulties of caring for relatives at a distance.
- Sometimes things happen which stop you in your tracks. A significant personal event for a member of the team impacts on everyone and it is important to come together to support each other.
- A feeling of achievement and developing our services is not only important for our client service but gives us a sense of achievement and that we can still advance our business.
- Flexibility is key – not only have we changed the way we work but we have also adapted our client services and advanced our speed of delivery. We were always fast but now, the ability to make sure clients have an answer quickly so they can plan and make decisions, has been appreciated.
- A game helps. Pictionary during a team meeting might not be the norm, but it helps lighten the mood and bring us together to have a laugh. The scavenger hunt was illuminating!
I acknowledge that from time to time, things are entirely rubbish. But working as a team and with our lovely clients is a joy that we do not take for granted. Things will get better and if all else fails, Pictionary helps.
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