Leadership and clear communication have never been more important. We look to our politicians, especially during traumatic events, to excel in this.
Putting political allegiances aside, the general consensus is that the current government has failed spectacularly to deliver their messaging, and at times it has left us uncomforted, and ill-informed memes will forever haunt them.
The Government started out well; “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”, a clear message that we all understood. Then it went horribly wrong; “Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives”.
‘Control the Virus’ appears to be lost on the population. Last Saturday, I walked through our village passing a busy pub. There was certainly no sign of face masks being worn or any social distancing. However at the local supermarket, strict controls were in place and the vast majority of shoppers wore masks, gloves and avoided each other at all cost.
Even in late July, we find ourselves confused with the simplest of guidelines: what we can and cannot do; who we can or cannot see; how many people can be in a bubble, yet you can go to the pub!
Maybe the politicians are trying to tell us we need a drink to understand their logic?
Clear messaging and leadership are vital then, and it has been fascinating and insightful to listen to and watch the senior management at companies we lend to, leading their businesses through this crisis.
Nearly all of them moved very fast to take action. They successfully predicted that this was going to be a long haul, that supply chains were key, that cash was king and that schemes like furlough, CBILs and Bounce Back Loans were useful tools to take advantage of ASAP.
Their employee communication and ‘Work from Home’ solutions have been ingenious, with many firms further cementing staff loyalty and fostering the desire amongst staff to support the business in many different ways.
Well done to our Borrowers, and maybe next time there is a crisis the politicians should ask one of our SMEs to do their communications for them.