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A bumpy road to a new normal

Chloe Gibson HR and Office Manager

4 November 2020

Reflection article

At the time of writing this reflection article, it has been 7 months since Boris Johnson made his speech back in March, calling for the country to unite in its battle against the virus and a plea to stay at home and save lives. In that time all of our lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For me personally the road has not always been a smooth and pleasant one. I started my new role as HR and Office Manager in February; and what a baptism of fire it has been. The pandemic of COVID-19 has drastically changed the size, team and way Notts County Football in the Community and The Portland Centre communicates, delivers projects and engages with its customers and participants. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the boundaries of our communication, as the organisation identified that the employees’ health quickly become our highest priority. We found ourselves engaging with staff on a more personal level, aiming to allow them to feel secure and happy even during this pandemic. We quickly understood that there were 2 different experiences that people were going through during this time, the Furloughed staff and the Non Furloughed staff, and we needed to be mindful of everyone’s personal journey and how it had effected them.

We were left with the challenge of needing to make significant changes in a matter of days, on an extraordinary scale. Like many other companies and charities we have not been exempt from redundancies and a restructure. This has been a tough process to go through, knowing that you are having an impact on people’s lives and it’s not always a positive one.

One thing that has been fascinating to see is how friends, family and work colleagues have settled into what is, for now, the new way of life. Some have found their days mostly unaffected, whilst others have found themselves being redeployed across wider areas of the business, where the need is greatest.

To get through these challenging times (and to become more agile overall), we needed our staff to evolve, deliver, and pivot fast. Accelerating team performance is imperative, in this ever-changing landscape we find ourselves living in at the moment. The shift from managing workloads and planning for the long term future has at times taken a back seat, as things are simply moving too fast and changing on a daily basis. Plans have become a lot more reactive and short, to medium term focused.

Now more than ever, Notts County Football in the Community and The Portland Centre need to know what we stand for, and communicate what we offer to the wider community. We have a range of projects and programmes and a very talented staff team that can offer help, support and guidance to people that are struggling during this time.

I am sure there will be further challenges ahead, and it would be foolish to think otherwise, but at the moment we need to take time to reflect on what matters the most in many people’s lives, which is our families and friends.

Stay safe everyone.

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