Closer together, whilst further apart

4 weeks into lockdown, I am finding myself reflecting on the positives that have come out of this difficult time. As with most other organisations, Jackson Hogg have had to adapt and work in ways previously untested. We quickly pulled together our management team and set the wheels in motion to ensure that we pro-actively prepared ourselves for the unknown ahead. I feel I have personally grown as part of this experience.

I joined Jackson Hogg just over 7 months ago and had been welcomed into the management team with open arms. This was my first experience of joining another organisation and I felt I needed to observe, understand JH’s working dynamics and see how I could fit in and add value. A short time later, I realised that the management team was genuinely underpinned by their core value, care. In this instance, care meant honesty, respect, ability to challenge and influence and to collectively want to better each other, our teams and the overall business. Our weekly meetings were something that I looked forward to and I was positive about the relationships that we were nurturing.

Then came COVID-19. Our weekly meetings became daily, we set up our workstations from home and we knuckled down. I believe that this situation has enabled us to strengthen our management team at an increased rate and for me it boiled down to the following observations.

Bringing the team together

Richard Hogg and Anthony Broadhead are the leaders of our organisation. Both quickly acted together and ensured that as a management team, we were united. This meant transparency, direction and a willingness to ensure that ideas were brought to the table, challenged and then agreed by all. We agreed to a ‘Teams’ call at the start and end of each working day to pool together our findings, thoughts and feelings. We discuss our daily agendas, successes, failures and what we aim to achieve as a collective. Although brief, these sessions spent together are quality time. We hold each other accountable and support each other by sharing knowledge, seeing where we can help and sharing the load in this heavy time.

Getting to know each other

There is something quite special in getting to know more about your peers through working from home. You get to see a glimpse of their real lives as you see snapshots of different rooms in houses on Teams calls. You see the faces of children that you had only heard about in passing. Pets vying for attention at any given opportunity. We get to see what each of our versions of ‘dress down’ are. What seemed to be a one-dimensional understanding of each other in work life has evolved into a deeper awareness.

Keeping spirits high

In all of our management team interactions I have felt a genuine warmth and uplifting from each individual. In times like these, it is vital that our spirits are kept high and that we see light in the dark. I am greeted by a team of smiling faces, a chipper attitude and most importantly… humour. This has helped us stay focused, motivated and sane!

All of the above has allowed us to get to a point where I genuinely believe that we will come out of the other side stronger. We understand, appreciate and value each other more than ever before. It is fair to say, that Jackson Hogg really is a company that cares and I am proud to be a part of the team that is helping us navigate COVID-19.

Fern Couchman
Head of Corporate Functions

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