If nothing else, COVID-19 has proven businesses have the tenacity to adapt and evolve in an effort to survive the economic damage waged in lockdown. Recently, we spoke to Thyngs’ Head of Operations, Laura Fox-Newby about her experience leading a business and supporting others in the current climate.
While many traditional customer-facing businesses have suffered, tech businesses serving them have pivoted to facilitate their changing customer needs.
Thyngs is a platform which allows organisations to transform their physical marketing products into a touch-free physical experience – without an app. Touch-free tech has never been more important amidst a global pandemic.
Hi Laura Fox-Newby – how has it been leading a digital business during a pandemic?
I cannot stress how lucky we are to be a physical-digital business at this time. We work closely with the charity sector, among others, and seeing the impacts that other sectors are facing is heartbreaking.
When everything was locked down, we were coming up with new ways that we could support these industries using our solutions. Particularly check-in for retail and hospitality, we knew we could take the strain away from businesses in terms of compliance and data protection. We also built upon our charity services to ensure they could fundraise no matter what. For example, interactive Zoom backgrounds and social sharing tools.
What about remote working?
Like most companies, we moved to homeworking. For some of the team, this was more than okay, but for others the social interaction aspect of office working was a struggle. We did, as I imagine all companies have tried, online activities like fancy dress quizzes on a Friday. This was to continue to share our department overview sessions in an engaging way (aptly named Friday Thyngs.) This has become increasingly more important now that we all work remotely. Microsoft Teams has been a valuable tool that ensures the team has a clear view on the company’s goals and activity in each department.
This is a situation like no other. As leaders, everything we have ever learned has had to be revised in order to keep our teams happy, healthy and productive. Ensuring everyone’s Work-Life balance stays intact and ensuring communication lines are open. Communication is so important right now, and not something that all companies do well internally.
Our business is our people. It is our job as leaders to protect, engage and grow them. Mental health is so important. It’s not as easy to spot a change in behaviour over a team’s call, so taking extra care to continue to give everyone the time and opportunity to express or talk through feelings is an activity we stay on top of.
How is Thyngs supporting businesses and charities at this time?
Anything and everything we can. We’re working very closely with our charities to re-imagine their fundraising to be both COVID-19 secure, sustainable and successful. We’re partnering with other businesses to continue to be innovative and also connecting to corporate companies to ensure they have a whole new toolkit for their CSR activity. Whether it’s converting website donations, direct mail, Zoom backgrounds or virtual gala’s we’re doing everything we can to help.
We have engaged with our customers to ensure they are confident when fundraising now, during Christmas, and in the future. As part of a large cashless fundraising makeover for SSAFA branches, we are working on a project to re-invent the physical fundraising collection tins. Collection tins are out-dated. They are time consuming and unreliable to count, they are collecting less cash because of Apple Pay and contactless trends, and they carry major security concerns when left alone. Our interns are part of a collaborative project with a local research company to reinvent an affordable cashless donation point that is secure, practical, and effective.
The move towards cashless and digital fundraising can be daunting for some, so we are using our expertise to help make it easy. Outside of Charities we are working with brands to create on-product engagement campaigns to ensure that they are still having a conversation with their customers – even though some of their traditional Marketing channels may not be suitable right now.
How important is building the right team to a business’s success?
If you don’t have the right team, you don’t have a business. Everyone’s skill set is unique and it is so important to understand the outcome you want to create. Every single hire is an opportunity to grow the business and build success. The right person can come into a company at any level and impact its future. Be that in direction or growth. Having the right team, and ensuring you are giving them the right opportunities is the only way to ensure success for both the business, and the people that make it.
Thank you for chatting with us Laura Fox-Newby!
Are you looking for people with the perfect skillsets to compliment your business? RecruitmentJunky have experience with building fast-growth teams. We’d love to hear about your recruitment needs, get in touch!
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