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Over the last weeks, we asked our staff to prepare for COVID-19. We warned them that we didn't know what was going to happen and what the outcome for everyone was going to be. Our business is based in the North East and we live in South West London. Our local commute is Heathrow to Newcastle once or twice a month, when we go up for a week at a time. Our staff are empowered to take decisions for their sites and we actively encourage them to use their common sense and do what they think is right for them to achieve their targets and their direct lines. There are very few occasions when they have let us down in the last 5 years.
Anyone who knows us and has talked to us knows how immensely proud we are of them at any time. We bore people at business events because all we talk about is our staff. This is not because we are playing to the crowd or a current fad, but because we genuinely believe that the most important people are the ones who are working below us. We couldn't do what we do if it wasn't for this extraordinary workforce
Our hardworking and resilient Cashiers need to love their jobs and love working for us for any of us to be successful. They are the first people our customers see in the business. If they are not empowered and not appreciated, how are we doing our job right? They greet our customers, have a chat and always helpful. They put themselves on the front line every day but at a time like this they are brave and generous. They come in smiling and are a bright ray of sunshine in a cloudy sky.
We couldn't work remotely and sit so far away from our business and run it without our amazing Site Managers. They run their sites as though they owned them, with pride and accomplishment. They have learned how to read profit & loss spreadsheets and discuss them with us without hesitation; they know their own staff and customers and care about them; they have taken the responsibility of being a key worker to heart. They have taken charge in the fight against COVID-19 by looking out for, and looking after, their customers but also doing the same for their staff.
Our Maintenance team makes sure that each site is fully functioning with a smile on their face. No job is too small and even if they moan, it is part of the act; their banter as they call it but I have never known them to not rise up to the challenge. They are essential to our team and so appreciated. They are making sure that our pumps are disinfected, sites as clean as possible and gloves and paper towels always available. They keep our customers and our staff safe.
Our Senior Manager and their teams keep operations running smoothly. Hard working, loyal and always with a smile on their face even when their personal circumstances are difficult. They work with us tirelessly and as real partners in a shared enterprise. They take a general direction from us but don't wait for us to tell them what to do. They take initiatives on their own and have our backs always. They have been standing there shoulder to shoulder to protect the business and make sure we come out the other end smiling.
Our Finance Team who have always been part of the team. They coordinate with the sites to make sure that information is up to date, relevant and help us make sure that we are all on the same page. They are the support system that keeps our Site and Senior Managers going and able to do their jobs. Over the last two weeks, they have been working on their own either at home or alone in the office. It will have been very lonely for them but I haven't heard any complaints only concern for everyone else.
These wonderful people have been on the front line in our business for the last few weeks and will be for an indefinite period. They have gone out of their way to cater for our customers. I know that we are lucky to still be open as essential workers in a time when businesses are shutting down, but we are luckier for having staff that are working together as a cohesive team. Many who have had to shield have gone reluctantly thinking that they were letting the team down and others are counting the days down to when self-isolation is over and they can come back and help their colleagues.
Without all our staff, we would not function but it is also important to know that you also would find it difficult to get fuel, groceries and other essentials locally. They are putting themselves out there so you can stay safe at home as much as possible. They deserve everyone's appreciation and when this all ends, I would like our customers to come back and show them how valued they were in the midst of an unexpected and tumultuous time. But at this time, I would like customers to say: "Thank you for being there for me!"
Thank You All!