Better and busier – how we’ll emerge from the pandemic in greater shape than ever
2nd March 2021
Richard Sutton, Managing Director of NG, says the business has emerged from the pandemic a better, stronger company than when they entered it. Here’s how his team has gone on to thrive over the last year.
For many businesses, the last 12 months have been one trauma after another as the economy has been tossed from side-to-side, lockdown to tier, tier to lockdown.
Now, finally, it seems we have some bright light at the end of the tunnel as the Prime Minister says the path towards opening up the economy at some point in early summer is “irreversible”.
12 months is a long time to be in turmoil, but at NG we’ve used the time to re-imagine how things get done to ensure we emerge out of the global pandemic in better shape than when we locked down last March.
It’s been an intense period of re-invention for our team, but it’s been worth it. There was no secret plan, we just knew that we had to be agile and adapt to what we were facing.
The challenge actually brought everyone closer together, but that’s what happens when you choose good people and treat them well. We’re there for each other – whatever day of the week, or time of the day. Some of our team work from home permanently; we made sure they all knew they were part of the plan and weren’t the forgotten ones.
That’s not to say there were dark moments, of course. We’d not be human if we didn’t. The #Bekind movement has been more important than ever during the last 12 months as work and home life has crossed over more than ever before. Our team has had to juggle the stress of constant bad news, working from home and (in some cases) administering homeschooling while continuing to keep their focus on what NG needed to deliver. That has, understandably, caused issues, but we’ve learned being kind to each other is now not a nice-to-have – it’s absolutely essential if we’re all going to work to our potential.
Our working culture is designed to breed confidence, and that has paid off over the last 12 months as youthful confidence and vigour has shone through. Our younger team members, Charlotte and Ellis have really impressed everyone in difficult times. They have taken our social media output to a whole new level as well as working hard towards their APC and degree goals.
Our younger team has never been through an economic downturn before, whereas I have. A clear head and a calm approach has been vital through the last 12 months. What use would I have been to anyone if I’d started panicking or being negative? That would have spread through everyone faster than Covid! They put their trust in me just as I put my trust in them. When Covid first hit I sat everyone down and made it clear, I would not let a virus put us out of business.
Our focus is, and always will be, our clients. That’s the same in good, bad or indifferent times. However, a global pandemic tends to focus the mind even more! With this in mind, we’ve ensured that the NG service can be the best it possibly can be during this period – so that, when things return to the new normal, the “extra mile” touches we’ve introduced are the norm. Cutting corners isn’t our style.
6. Relentless positivity
Last March was terrifying in so many ways, but after an hour or so of evaluating where we were and what we needed to do, we knew that NG wasn’t going to be able to help its clients by sitting in a corner, moping about how terrible everything was. Our clients were scared too; our job was to provide them not only with the information and tools needed to protect their property portfolio, but also make sure they knew we were looking ahead and not simply giving up. It’s paid off with some fantastic deals completed and some exciting new management instructions secured throughout the pandemic.
7. Investment and innovation
Standing still was never an option. Fortunately, we invested heavily in new tech in late 2019 early 2020 not only to work remotely, but also for our clients to attend remote site viewings. This proved essential in the early months of the pandemic and it’s now difficult to imagine life without it. We’ve also invested in new offices that truly bring the team together (in a socially distanced way!) in one modern environment. Some people could say this as crazy with so much uncertainty out there, we saw it as the exact opposite, it’s the perfect time for us to thrive and move forward into 2021. Now, we can service our clients both physically and remotely in the best possible way. As Richard Brown said: “It just wasn’t the time to be afraid of doing things differently, it was time to embrace it.”
James McArthur and Sunny Landa, our heads of Management and Agency respectively both championed the new technology from the start and integrated this seamlessly into our working lives. Without their foresight the picture could have been so very different.
Each and every one of our team wants to be the best they can be and we don’t ever block or stifle this; we want ambitious people who are committed to NG. Testament to this and a great way to start the year was with Jude Weston’s promotion to Director. Even though she only joined the NG family two years ago she embodies everything that’s good about NG. Our team’s desire to get back to normality is truly inspirational and will pay off big time for every single client we deal with in the future. I couldn’t be more proud of them.
If you’d asked me last March would we have achieved everything we have done over the last 12 months, I’d have probably thought you were mad. But it’s amazing what a crisis can do for a business if everyone has the same vision and belief in the direction you’re heading. I suppose we have done what another of my heroes championed, Sir Dave Brailsford’s “sum of marginal gains”, but in our case we did some bloody big ones too! The results are here for all to see as we enter what we hope will be a brighter period ahead.