A review of 2020 and all that it became.

by | Jan 5, 2021

We know that 2020 has been a year like no other. 

I launched into 2020, in the very first week of January, with a trip to Sheffield for a tricky grievance investigation (they’re all tricky, but this one was thorny too!). January continued at a pace, with a trip to London and several visits to a local client who was recruiting for their management team. By the end of January, I’d picked up another grievance investigation which took me on a few trips to the Midlands.

During February, the UK was in the grip of dreadful flooding and my trips to the Midlands were impacted by heavy rainfalls. My journey to Bristol to deliver a Performance Management workshop also took a lot longer than expected, with a train journey across country and lots of waterlogged fields to look at, as we traversed the middle of the UK. By the end of February, I had taken on an assignment to deliver Recruitment Training to leaders from across the UK, in Warrington. The client advised that this would go ahead, despite the slight warnings around about coronavirus. I also visited Manchester during this time, for an introductory meeting with a new client. We didn’t shake hands. It felt odd.

March started well for me. I likened myself to the ‘March Hare’ with lots of trips and visits planned. The recruitment training continued, with people sitting side by side in the conference room and gentle humour about the virus and its possible impact.

Then 16th March everything changed, and when the Prime Minister said ‘don’t go to pubs’ it sent shockwaves across the country. I have clients who work in the hospitality sector. The timely announcement from the Chancellor about ‘furlough’ on 19th March, sent me scurrying to the laptop to google what this term meant. Like many other HR professionals, I’d never heard it. The Government guidance, when it came, was welcome and I set about advising my clients and drafting letters quickly, so clients could stem the cost. When we went into full lockdown I felt the great sense of loss from my clients and I tried hard to stay on top of my emotions.

From April through to May I set about converting my business to ‘fully on-line’ activity. I worked hard to get myself up to speed and soon became accustomed to a world I’d not inhabited before on this scale (just the odd on-line meeting in the past perhaps?).

From June right through to December, my work-life consisted of Zoom and Teams meetings, with many phone calls and a lot of late evening emailing. 

I delivered on-line and captured a whole new set of phrases and delivery methods – ‘you’re on mute’, ‘can you see the slides I’m sharing’, ‘put your thoughts and comments in the chat’! Like everyone else in the country, I was trying to adjust at home and at work to what was happening externally and trying to stay safe and sane in the process.

Looking back has made me realise how important it is to be resourceful, pragmatic, and resolute in my approach and also how grateful I am for the experiences I have had in my life and work to prepare me for this year.

I am proud to have supported my clients and to have gained new clients, who came for advice and guidance at a time when they needed it most. 

Imago HR – 20 achievements in 2020

    1. Successful recruitment projects with great new hires
    2. Grievance and discipline investigations with decent outcomes
    3. Creative on-line delivery of learning and development 
    4. Getting equality, diversity, and inclusion projects off the ground
    5. HR audits and contract compliance checks
    6. Furloughing in at the deep end 
    7. Covid-19 workplace risk assessments
    8. Proficient and compassionate redundancy handling
    9. On-going merger support
    10. Redesigning organisational structures
    11. Mentoring and professional HR development
    12. Voluntary charity support 
    13. Board Member for CrunchyTales.com
    14. Writer of articles and blogs
    15. New client relationships 
    16. A Facebook live event!
    17. Design of a bespoke 360 leadership tool
    18. Creator of The RISE Technique for leadership development
    19. Guest speaker
    20. Collaborator

Imago HR was created with you in mind 

Here’s to 2021.

Vanessa is a very experienced HR Professional with a career spanning over 30 years. Prior to setting up Imago HR she worked for many years as a senior HR leader, providing a compassionate and pragmatic approach to people management. Click on her website to find out more about the Imago HR service www.imagohr.com