As we enter our 8th year in business, the start of the new calendar year coincides with the conception of Atkins Search, so it is naturally a good time to reflect on all the things we have learnt in the past 12 months in addition to the previous 7 years, and what we will be focused on in 2024.
Our learns in 2023…
Team – Hire people that live the values of your business and share your vision. Our values – Professional – Consultative – Specialist – Ethical – Team. It’s very clear the people who haven’t worked out for us this year have not shared these values, so we need to keep these at the forefront of who we are and what we do when hiring new team members. We have quite a broad church of people at Atkins Search, but if you have a good heart, care about helping people and are willing to put your shoulder to the wheel, then you will fit our business. We will be looking to recruit 4 new consultants to the team in 2024, so aligning the values of those joining will be imperative to their success.
It’s OK being an SME – Working closely with our clients its very clear, we are all on the same journey, with the same challenges, it’s just we operate in different sectors and are at different stages of our development. The shared experiences and advice offered have been very important to the development of our business and team over the past 12 months. Never underestimate how far you have come and how hard you have worked to get here. Enjoy the journey otherwise you won’t appreciate the destination.
Clients – Sounds a bit of a cliché but we really like our clients. The time spent with them during 2023 and also leading up to Christmas has been excellent. Whether it’s been a pint at the Cornmill or Lunch in town, we have really enjoyed the interaction with everyone. The working relationship with most feels like we are more than just supplier to end user, it’s also nice when you view them as friends rather than just clients. In 2024 we will continue to develop the relationships with new and existing clients to build closer ties between the organisations and will also be hosting a few networking events.
Networking – This has been instrumental in our business and the team’s growth in the past 12 months, really pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones to meet and interact with new people. The development and growth in confidence I have seen in the team over this period has been exceptional. A special mention to Laura, who as she has mastered the skills of the social butterfly. As mentioned, in 2024 we are going to be hosting our own networking events to continue to establish our working relationships.
Training – Train, train and train again. Keep investing your time and energy into making the team better and more equipped to deal with what the future will hold. We talk about retaining a “high bar” in our business, so it is our responsibility to give everyone the tools to achieve this. If you join us as a motivated individual, we will develop your skills and help to maximise your potential. We are committed to 1 formal training session per month in 2024 to upskill all the employees in the business, which should then positively affect the service provided.
Extra curricula – The team run an annual inter office sports competition, badminton, darts etc called “Battle of the Barries” (don’t ask) and this has created a completely different dynamic with the team. Mixing people in a non-work environment has allowed everyone to get to know each other better. We should have done it years ago. We have fully committed to this and can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring, hopefully a few laughs along the way.
Management Consultant – We have been using a management consultant for the past 18 months and the benefits have been immeasurable. It has provided a level of experience and expertise that was needed to help with direction, and they hold the senior management feet to the flames. This is imperative to create the right habits for a growing business as we expand our operation in the forthcoming year.
Culture – It’s all about our culture. None of the above happens if we don’t have the right culture. Respect your clients, accept we are on a journey, look after and train your team, meet new people, take advice and be open to change. All in all – try to make it fun and be proud of what you have achieved so far and excited for the future. 2024 will include a number of new employee programs to continue to develop our culture and employee wellbeing, with the focus being to imbed our vision and values into those already here or those that will be joining Atkins Search.
As we enter 2024 – our 8th year in operation – We are looking forward to enjoying the journey and experiences the next 12 months will bring.