Jennifer Appleton – Managing Director – ISO Quality Services Ltd – Leaders in ISO Certification
The next six months will hopefully see us move back towards more physical visits to our client base as well as working more from the office. We anticipate a move to a hybrid style approach of working both with our team and our clients in the longer term. Having recently surveyed our employees, over half would like to continue to have working from home as part of their working pattern. We are now looking at how we accommodate this moving forward.
Employee engagement has been one of our biggest challenges in the last 12 months, and we have found lockdown three the hardest when it comes to keeping our team motivated. This has been down to several reasons; lockdown fatigue, the January blues and changes to our team dynamics over the past year. We found ourselves overstretched due to redundancies and having a couple of the team moving on during lockdowns two and three. At the time, we didn’t want to recruit whilst we were fully working from home. Having recruited prior to lockdown one, we had already seen the challenges our newest team member had faced whilst trying to get to grips with their role during the pandemic. We therefore had concerns about the challenges someone else would face with regards to training and integrating fully into the team whilst restrictions were in place.
On a more positive note, we have seen the levels of interest in our services rise and we are receiving more enquiries than this time last year. We rose to the challenge of delivering our service remotely and as we navigate this more hybrid approach, we hope to continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.
The chancellor’s budget did not provide us with a huge amount of surprise. Given the level of support we have received over the last year through the furlough and grant schemes we anticipated there having to be some way of ‘pay back’. As we know small businesses make up over 99% of all businesses in the UK, it is no great shock that we will have to support this ‘pay back’.
Whilst there have been many businesses that have suffered during the pandemic, we feel there have been an equal amount that have thrived. The speed of change to a more modern workplace in those businesses has been incredible. Whilst we wish it had been under a different set of circumstances, as a business we have definitely had a lot of positives and learnt a lot over the past 12 months. We are now looking forward to a period where we can turn all the learning into business improvements.
We continue to be actively involved in our local business community and looking forward to meeting up with people in the near future.
ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.