There are times during business when the numbers lead your response and in truth some of these ‘commercial’ discussions can be the most challenging. The human side of business can be easily forgotten as both sides (supplier and client) have their objectives and it is only to be expected that you push as hard as you can to create the best deal for your organisation (I am an advocate of the win/win just in case anyone questions this).
When you are supplying a service you are judged on performance and as expected it is often the negative that is highlighted rather than the positive. Over time this can easily become a seemingly thankless task based on metrics. Yes it is a transaction and yes it must be measured and tracked, however, the balance between client and supplier is not a simple one. There are employees from all sides working together, teams and friendships forming, frustrations and challenges on both sides and, as with all human interactions, there is good and bad and everything in-between.
When a very popular and dearly loved staff member recently died due to the Coronavirus outbreak it left the team in a state of shock and disbelief. We were unable to be there in a physical sense to support each other but we rallied around and did what we could. What has been incredibly humbling is the support and empathy we have received from our client. In this instance we are a contractor delivering a service and at the base level, in reality, we couldn’t justifiably expect any resources or energy towards this from them with the consideration that everyone is fighting their own way through this crisis. To have received the level of support that we have has been truly amazing and a reminder that the human aspect of business is always the most important.
There have been many positives highlighted from this tragic situation. From kind supportive messages from unexpected individuals/businesses to the inspiring resilience of the bereaved family members. Crisis brings out the best in some people and it also often highlights what’s important. Perhaps the new world will be one which is a little more balanced and bring the human element of business to a more central role.