Here we are ! For a few weeks now, Switzerland comes back to normal step by step, leading to the gradual recovery of economic activity. These two months of lockdown have been an ordeal for all of us, with the emergence of a 2-in-1 pattern erasing all boundaries between professional and private life, often forcing us to rethink one or the other, or even both. If new habits have been established, what are we going to keep?
Fanny Eyraud, founder and CEO of PSPI, explains what will remain for her business – especially in the way she views her management and the efficiency of her company. In the end, the lockdown has been beneficial for her, the opportunity to take a step back from her company, with results beyond her expectations!
How was the beginning of lockdown for a small business like yours?
Like almost everyone else, the teams (6 people) had to telework. And like any CEO who is not used to the exercise, I was anxious about it. Wrongly, because from the very beginning I noticed a very important involvement of my team with an investment in time and energy equivalent when on site. Everyone was free to manage their hours according to their possibilities, the important thing being that the specifications were followed.
Can you tell us more about the habits you have developed and those that will continue now ?
Working in a quiet environment, away from the place traditionally devoted to this, allowed us to reflect individually on our place in the team, on our objectives, and on how we would like to organise our post-confinement time.
Since the return on site, teleworking 1 day/week is an option that I propose to my employees.
Another thing that was set up during the Covid and will continue : stand-up meetings.
It’s a team meeting focusing on speed and efficiency, where the process aims to help each individual as much as the whole team progress by asking questions such as “what are my objectives for this week? and how can others help me at their level to achieve them? ». We tested this method via Zoom during the lockdown, with double success: in terms of management and efficiency, participants going straight to the point. In terms of post-meeting productivity, it helps teams to know exactly how to reach their objectives, alone or with the help of others.
Finally, another point that comes to mind is the importance given to the outside environment and the well-being associated with working outside the office walls.
The discussion of my first post-Covid client meeting continued – after a traditional business lunch – outside in a park, where a few months ago we would have been sitting at a table. I am convinced that this will also be part of our new way of working… to be continued!
What do you think we can learn from this period?
These two months have really made me realize that you can do things differently in many ways by getting out of your routine/comfort zone.
By doing small things, you can significantly improve the well-being of employees and find fulfilment for each individual, develop collective intelligence within a team and, at the same time, go further in the deployment of individual capacities thanks to a more attentive, more inclusive and more “punchy” management.
In addition, for people whose business is also very international, the way of working will be reviewed.
In fact, many partners/customers with whom I spoke who lived in airplanes realize that with the new conf/zoom video technologies, etc… we can have quality meetings with people from all over the world, without having to travel every time. I initially thought that the digital world could decrease the quality of the proximity ratio, but it can also bring it closer, you can feel very close to someone on the other side of the planet via an application! I’m sure that people somehow appreciate the fact that they travel less and enjoy their own environment more, being more “local”.
Finally, with the Covid, what used to be thought “secure” is no longer.
The traditional model of “I fit into a big box and climb up the ladder” has been shaken by the realization that everything can stop overnight. This leads to working on oneself, on what one can individually “self-produce” within the system. This is a huge opportunity for small business like ours. It is now up to us to put in place motivational levers to seize this opportunity, in particular by allowing each employee to develop and evolve, first for their own well-being and then for that of the company.