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Covid-19: What we have learnt

12 July 2020

Our lives have been transformed during the past 5 months, in ways that we could never have imagined. At NJC, our front line colleagues have done an outstanding job working throughout the pandemic, adapting their activities to meet ever-changing priorities and helping to keep our customers and their premises safe. Our experiences have led us to reflect on our personal values, and the importance of NJC’s strong company brand values.

Our marketing plans were turned on their head during March, but the importance of bringing value to our customers and prospects and supporting our colleagues didn’t change. We went back to basics, focused on the brand values that make NJC unique and explored the ways we could use our expertise and many years of experience to help people in the unusual world that we all found ourselves.

This is what we learnt.

1. Brand values are at the heart of everything.
As a cleaning company, suspected and confirmed coronavirus outbreaks quickly put our operational colleagues in the front line of fighting the spread of the virus. The NJC DNA, our ability and willingness to go the extra mile for our customers was never more important, as they responded to numerous call for help, frequently working during the evening and overnight.

NJC’s family values were at the forefront in helping our customers, but also in ensuring that all our colleagues were supported, whatever their situation. With face to face contact much reduced, our managers and supervisors ensured that regular check-ins with their team members were a top priority. Teamwork has been more important than ever to us.

2. Expertise and excellence is vital.
When the unexpected happens, the best people to have working with you are those with specialist knowledge and expertise. They can assess the situation and apply their experience to give advice and support.

This was important for our marketing messaging and our communications, where we quickly focused on providing advice and useful resources to our external contacts, showcasing our experts. Our industry-leading Coronavirus Hub allowed easy access to all our resources and information in one place on our website.

We shared the great work of our colleagues, and the fantastic comments that they received from our customers, as well as celebrating their efforts internally. Cleaning is now a top priority for most of us in our daily lives and our NJC colleagues are certainly ‘Not Just Cleaners.’

Our Operational expertise was of the greatest importance. As well as quickly mobilising specialist Covid-19 cleaning and disinfection services, we initiated additional services to support our customers, from hygiene consumables and dispensers to social distancing signage and screens.

3. The importance of strong and visible leadership.
The pace with which things changed required leadership able to plan an agile course for the business. Assimilating the views of the government and business leaders, and anticipating potential developments, allowed us to develop paths forward with our experts leading the various project streams.

We work very closely with our customers and as they started to return to their offices and buildings, we openly shared our expertise and offered to help, as we believe that everyone can Return Stronger, Together. The feedback we have received shows that this has supported our industry leading position in our chosen sectors.

4. Retaining an agile approach.
The need to remain agile has never been more apparent, in almost all aspects of running a business. The nature of the customer base is changing and government and scientific advice continues to evolve. More flexible ways of working are likely to be here to stay, which will bring changes in the ways offices are used and the services that that our customers may require. 

As things change, it is crucial that communications remain current and informative, reflecting the existing situation and providing value to our audience.

5. Out of adversity comes opportunity.
NJC has always strived to drive change, constantly seeking to develop industry propositions and improve our service. Our breadth of self-delivered services has always been key to our high quality and responsiveness, and the heightened requirement for cleaning expertise has made this an even greater priority for many customers. 

As we aim to be uniquely different, we are further developing and evolving our services, focused on our customers’ needs, so that we can help themprepare for the requirements of the coming months and years.

NJC’s family heritage has always meant that ‘giving back’ is important to all of us. During this extremely difficult time for charities this has never been more important and it has been heart-warming to see so many colleagues supporting charities and delivering social value by giving up their time or raising funds.

6. What’s next?
As we move forwards and reflect on what has happened since March, we mustn’t lose sight of the countless achievements and advancements. Covid-19 has expanded our horizons, made us consider different ways of doing things, proven that we can work effectively in a more distributed model, and has shone a spotlight on trust in all relationships. Employees are trusting that their employers will continue to navigate a successful path as business continues to evolve, and customers are trusting that their suppliers are well prepared for the possible next scenarios.

At NJC, we have always been ambitious and passionate about moving our services to the next level, with our brand values guiding our path. We will continue to communicate and seek to provide advice to support out colleagues, our customers and suppliers. We may deliver cleaning services, but more than ever it is ‘Not Just Cleaning.’

Julie Birch, Marketing Manager NJC

Image represents the NJC DNA, our ability and willingness to go the extra mile.

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