As The Wigley Group’s head of group governance and development, Claire Lynch is responsible for the overall delivery of the company’s infrastructure, facilitating growth whilst mitigating risk. She gives an insight into the organisational challenges of coronavirus.

Like any business, or other section of society, we could never have anticipated the enormous impact of COVID-19. Whilst none of us could have been prepared for the pandemic, contingency plans that we had put in place to ensure the continuity of our business in the event of different scenarios are now helping us to deal with the organisational challenges we are facing.

Although a pandemic was not one of the scenarios, we have been able to draw on those plans to enable our team to adapt to a new way of working.  Although there is nothing normal about the situation, it is ‘business as usual’ albeit remotely.

Our team, who are largely office-based, have adapted really well. After a few days of working from home, they realised that we had a lot of measures in place and despite not being in the same building, were able to work as one.

Communication is key and checking in with our team is as important for mental health and wellbeing as business continuity. We have introduced new communications software to enable us to be in touch more often and through different means, and have adapted to interactive video tutorials to ensure that the introduction of new training continues.

Over the last year, we have been working hard towards the internationally-recognised ISO management standards and as part of that, had to identify the company’s key processes. That has undoubtedly helped in making sure everyone is working together and to the same plan.

Technology such as video calling which is now playing such an important role in keeping us all connected also enabled us to go ahead with the first ISO audit as planned which we were delighted to pass with flying colours.

Despite the restrictions, we are still moving forward as a company and are now working towards the final audit in June. When ‘normal’ business operations resume, we hope to have our ISO certification firmly in place, which will give us the framework to continue to grow.

Claire Lynch

Head of Group Governance and Development