2020 at Spirit: agility, responsiveness and connectivity is in our soul

Written by: Becky Cox

It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2020 has been the year to deal us the wildest hand of cards we’ve ever had. At Spirit, we’re experienced in dealing with sudden changes, tight deadlines and quick turnarounds, but this year threw us a whole new set of challenges. It has surely been the year to test our flexibility and ability to adapt to the changes of a world working through a pandemic.

However, the vast changes we’ve seen this year have provided an excellent opportunity to refocus our priorities and look at everything we’re grateful for. Our year on a page certainly highlights how our teams have taken a testing situation and made the best of it, in true Spirit style.

With many of our plans, both personal and professional, put on hold or forced into the distant calendar pages of 2021, we took the collective decision to focus our efforts introspectively. This year, we have developed in a number of different areas – most notably:

  • Staying connected
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Growth

Staying connected

One of the biggest challenges that faced us this year has been staying connected with each other while working remotely from Manchester to Macclesfield to London, Sheffield and even Kuwait. The shift from our usual office-based meetings and chat was a sudden one, but has given rise to much hilarity as everyone fully embraced the capabilities of Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Our fantastic Connect team have worked overtime to organise challenges, quizzes, games, book club meetings and so much more to keep the chatter flowing thick and fast between our home offices. Earlier in the year we shared our favourite acts of kindness by our colleagues, from waving at children interrupting team calls, to dropping birthday presents at each other’s houses. This year, everyone has gone above and beyond to connect, be kind and support one another, which has been a joy to see!

We’ve also spent a lot of time planning and preparing the Spirit offices so that people who have wanted to stay connected physically have been able to do so. Extra health and safety training and briefings and a lot of hand sanitiser have been provided, to make working in the offices possible for those who needed it.

Mental health and wellbeing  

With so many sudden changes to navigate this year, it’s been a challenging time for everyone in one sense or another. There has never been a more important time to support each other as well as take time to look after ourselves. This year, we put in place a number of initiatives to help support mental health and wellbeing across the Spirit teams:

  • the introduction of Mental Health First Aiders – six specially trained individuals within the company to help colleagues who are struggling with work-related or personal problems
  • taking time out for ourselves – each employee received a voucher and two hours to spend however they liked, to relax and unwind during a working day
  • extra training to support employees – attending sessions with external trainers on how best to support mental health and build resilience and focus.

Investing in mental health and wellbeing initiatives has certainly never been more important and we are fortunate to have many different routes available through which extra support can be accessed if needed.

Growth

Our biggest success story of 2020 has to be the physical growth we’ve experienced this year. Since January we’ve employed 18 new staff members across the business, bringing with them fresh perspectives and smiling faces that have added lots of joy to our virtual meetings!

Many of our new starters have joined us in the midst of lockdown from various locations across the country – even as far as Kuwait – but this hasn’t stopped them from becoming part of the Spirit family. But don’t just take our word for it! This is how 2020 has been for them…

Whilst we’re looking forward to what the next year will bring, 2020 has provided everyone at Spirit with a unique opportunity to celebrate our personality, soul and teamwork with one another. It may have been challenging at times but we have relished the opportunity to evolve and take stock of everything we’re grateful for.

From all of us at Spirit, we wish everyone a wonderful festive season and look forward to what the new year has to bring!