Posted on 26/11/2020 by Nick Boulton
I was asked a very interesting question at our last company Q&A.
“If someone told you back in March, where Client Server would be at the end of November, would you take it?”
My immediate thought: “Absolutely not, we are better than what we have achieved, we should have adapted quicker, been more accurate with our candidates and clients, billed more, blah, blah, blah…”
But I didn’t answer straight away. Perhaps that tubby little hamster running on a wheel in my head slowed for as second, but I gave it some thought. What a great question!
It really made me think about where we had come from, the insane hurdles we have had to overcome and what an incredible journey the last eight months have been.
Battling back – We lost more than 78% of our business in the first seven days of lockdown. 78%!!! HOLY SHITBALLS! When I say that out loud, it’s a miracle we actually survived. But through hard work and determination, we have battled back. We haven’t returned to pre-lockdown levels, but Client Server is firmly on the road to recovery more resilient, leaner and much better for the experience.
WFH – In March, we had little to no ability to work remotely. Not only did we (well, I say “we” but I mean my business partner David Kerr, who worked tirelessly and with a little help from our in-house technologist) got 80+ staff set up and running at home in under 24hours! In hindsight, this was a truly spectacular job.
Adaptability – This is one of the things that has impressed me most about our staff and our business over these troublesome months. I’m incredibly proud of the flexibility of our people. We have seamlessly adopted MS Teams, remote meetings, collaborative thinking and have pulled together as a team and real Client Server Family.
Cultural Shift – This is one of the best things to come from this disaster. We have always had a strong idea of our culture and identity, but it had probably got a little stagnant, taken for granted even. But what this pandemic has done is given us a well-needed shot of perspective. Previously too busy with the day-to-day trappings of the job, we hadn’t taken time to stop, step back and actually make sure our ship was on the right course. Not from a business perspective, but from a cultural and Client Server environment perspective.
What was the result?
A reset and a recognition that we needed to make some changes, changes for the better:
- Mental Health – A massively positive initiative started by our very own Chris Hart, and one that will be hugely important, especially over the coming months.
- A permanent WFH policy – Possibly long overdue, but one I think in the long run will be hugely beneficial in retaining staff and maintaining freshness in the job.
- Regular Q&As – Something I started weekly in the previous lockdown but is here to stay. I think you assume that information and communication trickle down to people on a regular basis, but it tends to be lost in translation, inconsistent and isn’t delivered in the way it was intended. Having a regular Q&A session where people across the business can ask questions and be updated on company issues has made a huge difference to our communication (despite some of the ridiculous non-work questions…)
- Our Client Server Spirit – Hard to attribute a tangible effect this has had on us, but I feel like we are a much closer, kinder and more aware type of business. I think large, impacting events can bring people closer together and I think this has strengthened our resolve, resilience and desire to be successful together.
So in answer to that question, YES, I would take where we are now if offered it in March.
As a company, I feel like we are in a stronger position than ever before. A position that we can really capitalise on moving forward, maximising our opportunities and building on what is an incredibly strong foundation of people, who are loyal, motivated and hungry for success. I think the next 12 months is going to be really exciting at Client Server.
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