The word ‘resilience’ has been used vastly whenever we want to support our capability in facing difficult situations. However, the pandemic has put our resilience abruptly into a bigger test to implement the ‘future of work’ faster than we ever predicted.
Particularly in the event industry, the impacts have been devastating. A recent study of the global events industry found that 40% of businesses “may not exist in its current form within the next 6-12 months”. Together with many other event companies, we were cornered with heavy pressure to respond to the crisis.
In Management Events, we are springing into action to fight this tough time with resilience fueled up by our dedication, teamwork, and company values. Yes, this sounds corny, but it definitely brings incredible results.
Our values have always served us as a guideline to be resilient when we were in dire straits and helped the professional development. They remind us of our purpose and role in achieving success together.
Embrace the new
As soon as the World Health Organization declared the pandemic, we were exposed to the phrase “new normal” by the media and thought leaders. How exactly the “new normal” applies in a workplace setting?
Let’s face the reality – the sudden changes in business operation, the new work from home culture, the worrying thoughts of teammates’ well-being, and the rapid transition to new products; are just overwhelming to digest.
There was no doubt we were struggling to adapt in the first week. However, we realized the first step to stay resilient is by embracing the new normal with open arms as well as transforming the way we think and react.
One of the biggest challenges of our new reality was the switch to “work from home mode”. The whole team was highly involved in making sure everyone receives continuous motivation to stay afloat in the industry. Just to name a few, we are able to make the remote teamwork really fun! ! We even held a “weird hat day” where everyone attended virtual meetings with fancy hats at home just because we miss the whole team’s presence.
Another Everest we had to conquer was our events – obviously, all mass gatherings were canceled and we had to be very fast in responding to changing customer needs, revamping our product, and all the decision-making involved. Kudos to all our colleagues and leadership team as we managed to re-strategize in a record-breaking time frame!
Clarity and responsibility
Recent research by Salesforce highlights that “86% of remote workers rate their productivity as excellent or good” since the pandemic outbreak began. This indicates that working from home we can still be productive. But how exactly can we maintain the productivity level without the presence of team leaders to supervise us?
We try to be fully transparent regarding the company’s information like financial health, new company’s direction, and short and long term planning with the team. This information enables the team to have clarity on the importance of their roles during this difficult time and empowers them to take full responsibility for their actions and results.
Eventually, employees can have a clear vision of how they can help and contribute to the company. Understanding your value and having your own purpose helps maintain motivation and draw inspiration and creative drive. Consequently, not only are you able to build resilience but also explore the agility in you by adapting to the sudden changes in the company as a whole. With this practice, you can be independent without being micromanaged by your supervisors.
Passion for customers
It is all about mindset. When our focus is to constantly provide value to customers, there are always alternatives to do so. As most people would say – don’t sell a product, but solve a problem.
Consumer behaviour always revolves around problems and eventually forces customers to go on a hunt for solutions. To stay competitive it is crucial to identify the rising challenges and match them with the best possible solutions even if it requires a 180 degrees change in the current products or services.
As soon as the public was obliged to go on lockdown, we reached out to partners to get a better understanding of their situation and possible rising challenges, and to see if there is anything we could potentially help with. These conversations gave as great insights that we were able to turn into business decisions and come up with new products that our customers urgently needed at the time
With great leadership and resiliency represented in the whole team, Management Events launched a new concept of virtual events in just one month. Everything from a renewed marketing strategy, to updated speaker panel and event themes and to the set up of an interactive virtual platform to connect event participants was done in that short time frame.
Of course, innovation does not happen on its own. It takes the whole company’s effort to innovate and this applies to any organization out there.
The transition between face-to-face events to virtual has been an eye-opener to everyone in the team. We heavily relied on constant support from the team leaders as well as each team member contributing to the new product development, in producing something completely new at a limited timeline.
We strongly believe that any effort needs to be recognized and victories must be celebrated to encourage our teams and allow every team member to grow. That is why, despite special circumstances of 2020, we conducted our annual ME Summer Awards virtually as a platform to give recognition to those who have been proactive, positive, and exhibited great teamwork spirit in making things run smoothly.
To sum up, building resilience is never an easy task as it demands some drastic changes to push your limits and make you more flexible and adaptable. But it can be achieved with continuous support from your environment. Leadership among the team is the key to navigate better employee experience through a crisis. With the latest HR leaders survey from Gartner, “64% of them are prioritizing employee experience more highly now than before the coronavirus outbreak”. This is something to consider for both CHROs in terms of developing that company culture and environment that should be the soul of each organization, and for talent looking for new career opportunities, professional development and growth.