A Courier Business Briefing on the topic of ‘managing people in a global pandemic’ was held with three expert speakers yesterday.
Craig Nicol, managing partner of Thorntons, started proceedings by describing how the company adapted to the pandemic as the courts and its estate agency business closed in the first lockdown.
Then Kathryn Hill, an employment engagement adviser for Skills Development Scotland (SDS), showcased programmes that have helped firms in Tayside and Fife to continue to grow.
Finally, Cami Alexander, a development coach at DC Thomson, shared tips for change, wellbeing and development.
There was then a question and answer session with topics covered including resilience, whether home working will continue, and how to encourage creativity while people are working remotely.
Communication is key
Mr Nicol said: “It’s been a privilege to be part of the Courier Business Briefing to reflect on recent challenges as well as discuss a road map for the future where resilience as individuals and as a business will be crucial.
“As leaders, we have all learned a great deal from the past 10 months and we will continue to develop in leadership.
“It has highlighted that people are the lifeblood of any organisation, and supporting our people has been at the core of all our decision-making at Thorntons while providing a consistent service to clients.
“At all times, but particularly through challenges, communication is key and I would encourage all businesses to provide regular, honest, two-way communication to keep your people informed of the good and the bad.”
Ms Hill was keen to highlight SDS’s Skills for Growth programme, which funds a consultant to give advice to business leaders.
Investment in people
One of Ms Alexander’s themes was to invest and focus on connection, belonging and purpose.
She said this helped to create “working oases of stability and trust that allow teams to better navigate the complex changes and demands ahead”.
The free online event was sponsored by Thorntons Law in association with Skills Development Scotland.