At Bristow & Sutor, we recognise that many of our employees are going above and beyond their normal jobs at this time. We have previously highlighted the importance of our investment in technology and how that has been instrumental to our lockdown response. We have also considered the importance of maintaining CPD training for furloughed Enforcement Agents (EAs), providing mental health and wellbeing support , adopting a business as usual approach and collaborating with industry peers to ensure clients and customers receive a continuous high level of performance and service.
But we recognise that none of the above is achievable without the effort and support of our own employees. Throughout the lockdown, role responsibilities and accountabilities have adapted flexibly and continue to do so as we react and respond to ongoing changes in Government advice, rules and policy. This began with the roll-out of our remote environment, new telephony systems and the delivery of staff items such as headsets, to ensure those members of staff working from home were able to do so comfortably. We have always fostered a culture of training and learning, but understand that doing so in a strictly online environment and on imperative subjects such as the use of PPE in future enforcement is a unique challenge for our employees to face.
There are countless examples across Bristow & Sutor that showcase the commitment, loyalty and willingness to embrace change that has set the tone for our success during the COVID-19 pandemic. But one example we can all draw inspiration from is that of Alison Marshall, General Office Supervisor. Alison celebrated 30 years with Bristow & Sutor this April and since lockdown measures came into effect, has worked on tasks she had not had to since the start of her career; as well as working in new areas she had not been previously been exposed to in her prior three decades with the business.
Alison says, “My regular duties include assisting with queries, assessing work for quality purposes, prioritising actions, maintaining strategy and optimising productivity. Since the lockdown this has adapted from direct supervision to more phone and online contact but has also seen the need for an entirely new aspect to my role. Each week since the office closed, I have visited the Post Office to obtain the business mail. It takes around 5 hours to separate this and ensure it is provided to the appropriate channels. This is essential for the people we deal with as some payments are still received through postal orders and cheques, so I regularly drop payment post over to the audit team members of staff on my way home.
“Once the post is acquired and I have passed HR, Finance and Director mail onto Libby and the HR team, I scan the remaining post so it can be accessed from our index software at home. This is very important as it is attached to relevant cases and available to employees accessing the system and reviewing a case remotely. I had to do this 30 years ago without a scanner, so the process is not too bad!
“I have always multi-tasked and Bristow & Sutor are very good at ensuring we are trained in multiple areas of expertise, both to cover unexpected absence and grow our own capabilities. As such, I have some knowledge of original documentation, returning manual letters and new instructions, but this was always been to answer questions and escalate rather than handle directly. It has been interesting to now add this string to my bow. I felt things were a little slow at the beginning as everything unfolded and I adjusted, but within two weeks my process was up and running smoothly and efficiently. In some ways I have even enjoyed it, although to begin with it was strange seeing the office so empty and I am looking forward to our return to business normality”.
Bristow & Sutor are proud and appreciative of the determination, integrity and example that has been shown by Alison and many other members of staff throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Our employees all continue to go above and beyond their regular jobs for the good of our clients, customers and the company. At a time where it would be understandable to become frustrated or de-motivated, Bristow & Sutor employees have embodied our values and continue to showcase our ethos of remaining Cool, Calm and Collected.