Well, what a year so far. Who would have thought that when we were setting our business plans for 2020 that we would be in the situation we are in today?
As we are now in the 13th week of lockdown we can all lay claim to having worked in a global pandemic lockdown for a quarter of a year – one for us all to tell the grandkids about! In insurance we breakdown lots of our goals, targets and achievements into quarters. Yesterday, I was asked by a long standing client to summarize how this quarter has gone for Synchronicity Insurance, which prompted me to sit back and reflect on what has happened so far.
Don’t worry, I won’t give you an overview of all 13 weeks, as I am sure you would fall asleep, but for us, the lockdown can be broken down into three stages.
Stage 1 (March – April). March 23rd and the only time I had ever heard ‘Lockdown’ was in prison dramas. I had no idea it was going to become the most freely used word in conversation for the next three months of my life (aside from ‘unprecedented’ of course!). We were fortunate in that we had a very good February and lots of positive activity carried us forwards. The end of March and all of April was very surreal, but the nervous energy of working in an unknown environment made it strangely exciting. Fear of the unknown and the challenge ahead kept us upbeat and positive.
Stage 2 (May). No sign of kids going back to school, no real certainty on people returning to work, thousands of people on furlough and no defined clarity in general, made this a horrible month for so many of us. As recruiters we always have a duty of care to all, and a responsibility to help both clients and candidates in equal measure. We always do what we can to help individuals out and this is a side of the job that requires a lot of emotional sensitivity, listening and understanding. Recruitment is not all about portals and processes, it still requires a human element – this is essential and will never change. We are all human beings trying to help out other human beings. To hear lots of people who we know and care about in such uncertain stages of their life is not nice and we will continue to help as many as possible. By the end of May, I had personally spent 10 weeks working entirely on my own from 7.30am – 5.30pm every day to keep our small business going. This period was the most mentally taxing and challenging stage for me. To keep others upbeat when you are at a low ebb yourself is tough ask for 10 long weeks.
Stage 3 (June). It has to be said, so far, so good. Stuart is back in the office so we are at 2/3 strength as opposed to 1/3 (we are ready to roll out the red carpet for Naomi soon too). We have had more positive conversations with a number of clients in regard to their plans post Covid and people seem to know where they stand with current furlough/coming back from furlough schemes. Generally, things just seem that little bit more positive. We are by no means saying that this is over, but what we are saying is that we have hopefully seen the worst of things and we can now start rebuilding.
In summary, not a bad start, terrible middle and then a positive end to the quarter that none of us will ever forget!
So, what has this quarter held for you?