It’s been an intense year, but so much has changed for good are the words of the brilliant people at Within People who describe three big shifts as a result of recent events:

1. Companies with cultures rooted in a strong purpose with lived values are rallying together and thriving more than others.

At Peridot we’ve never had a business plan in the classic sense. However, three years ago we went through a process to sharpen and develop a more consistent shared understanding of our purpose, which is serving us well.

Our culture and values keep the strong bonds and relationships in place, which enabled us to pull together when the going was tough. With our recent growth, it is questions about how we maintain the culture, and how new people acquire an understanding of the values and purpose, that occupy my mind most.

2. ‘Re-humanizing’ work.

Empathy has been a far more effective tool than ‘old style’ leadership traits. Having leaders at Peridot who are parents, carers and with strong family values (people who, at the core, really care about people), is helping us enormously.

We’ve always been very human because we want our employees to grow, develop and be happy. Sharing our knowledge, experience and ultimately nurturing others to succeed is a key element of leadership here. Equally, sharing our weaknesses and being vulnerable by admitting what we don’t know all the answers allows us to discover solutions together.

That’s the beauty of having a diverse culture: we can draw on so many different views. Being completely authentic in the way that we lead is to be human; and creating an environment where staff show up to work as their authentic selves is priceless.

3. Employee experiences built on promises are strengthening workplaces, whilst those reliant on perks and gimmicks are crumbling.

Having honest conversations, listening, and always caring enhances the trust between our leadership and staff.

When the chips were down, we told people exactly how it could affect us and asked them to help in any way they could; which they invariably did. We co-produced solutions and got through it together. This trust enabled us to craft solutions that reduced anxiety and saved jobs.

My leadership challenge post-pandemic

In May 2021, approaching our 13th year in business, we have new challenges ahead. We’ve tripled in size in three years, and we’re aiming to employ 40 people by May 2022.

As we grow, how can we preserve and build on our culture in a more remote working environment? How can we be even more inclusive? How can we all continue to deepen our connection with and live the values in our work every day?

These are the questions that I’ll be addressing.

Within People talk about growth as finding a balance between wellbeing and personal growth. At Peridot we’re going to focus on the growth in our people and their wellbeing, as we’ve proven that commercial business growth follows.

My goal as a leader is clear. I need to do more to help our employees grow personally whilst developing their career and at the same time achieve balance and healthy wellbeing. We haven’t got it right yet, but we’ll continue to make progress.

What are your leadership challenges this year?