A teenager in quarantine
Our CEO Lis Lewis-Jones reflects on Liquid turning 16…
As we start our fifth week of working remotely, I’ve had time to reflect how Liquid is faring. Like most business founders, I refer to Liquid almost as a person, concerned for its well-being and ironically, even more so this week as Liquid, my teenager, turns 16.
In our first week of working remotely, we had an entire company call rallying the troops and outlining our four-point plan. It was simple, memorable and easy to action.
While managing issues and planning is second nature to us, the unknown of the current crisis in terms of its length, global impact and complexity means that we’re making decisions with limited information and ambiguity. The only positive is that every other business is facing the same.
The Liquid team has embraced the new virtual world that we now all inhabit, they have creatively looked at how we can still meet client objectives, despite working remotely. It didn’t take them long. Launches have still taken place, briefings are continuing and content is being created at pace. They have continued to do great work and have partnered with clients, closer than ever.
We have always placed great emphasis on working together, especially across our offices. This is now paying dividends in terms of the relationships people have with each other. As soon as we started remote working, we had a ‘buddy system’ in place to ensure people felt connected and never alone. Over the last month the team has stopped working in silos, they’ve been flexible, collaborative and supportive.
Team members have helped out those juggling children and home working, have made extra effort to support those living alone and created a fantastic sense of belonging. They have all stepped up to support each other and have taken on responsibilities not expected.
As a board we have ensured that we continue to not only balance the financial implications of Covid-19 but also look after the mental health and wellbeing of our team. Team briefings are not only still happening but have increased. Appraisals have been taking place over the last 2 weeks and I’ve done the majority of them using it as a way to have a 1-2-1 and check on everyone properly. This Friday we have a company social and starting next week we have a series of weekly training (2-3 hours, every week for the next six weeks) which will not only keep people together but ensure we up-skill and are ready for when ‘normality’ (whatever that is) returns.
Online yoga is also starting this week with everyone across the company, their partners and little people, all able to join in.
The way companies behave in this crisis will define them in years to come. While this pandemic is a situation I hope is never repeated, for Liquid, it has moved us from adolescent growing pains to being a young, responsible adult. We have learnt new skills, seen new positive behaviours and experienced an inner strength as we all pull together.
Organisations often bounce back from issues stronger than before. As we say to our clients, it’s an opportunity to re-focus, realign and to rebuild.