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Running a business: The value of being human

At the beginning of this year we were told as a nation we had entered recession six months earlier. Some knew this already, most of us probably hadn’t noticed. Yes, we had been aware of rising prices, particularly food amongst other things but we had been dealing with that for some time.

Today we are told the economy is back growing again. Within the figures what caught my ears, was a rise in retail sales (possibly enhanced by an early easter), but also a reduction in construction activity. The latter could be down to continuing high interest rates, the weather and the cooling housing market.

Either way, growth is better than shrinkage. Good news, no matter how the politicians spin it, is always better than bad.

One of the big issues in recent years is the discussion around healthcare, the NHS in particular. I have always felt they deserve a better deal because of what they do.

Having experienced their services first hand recently, very impressed by the caring attitude of the those employed and engaged in looking after me.

So looking back have been pleased with my six night stay (never had a night in hospital before) at the Queen Elisabeth Hospital in Woolwich and also my first ever ride in an ambulance.

I also discovered that my height is a problem. Was told many times over that period that “you are very tall”. I have always claimed to be six foot.

So why was my height an issue? With a fractured knee cap and torn tendons I had little control over my left leg. After waiting 3 hours for the ambulance crew to arrive they struggled to lift me off the floor.

As part of the triage process the 999 call handlers had suggested I use 111 to see if anything could be done to assist my situation in the meantime. Calls for help that evening were very high and effectively a broken leg was not a priority. The silver lining was that a second ambulance was despatched by the 111 service which arrived just after the first, providing enough bodies to get me up and out.

I have also learned that gas and air kills pain but in my case made me feel very out of this world.

What was particularly good was the way they explained what they were going to do and how we would move from home to the hospital. At regular points they advised what could be painful and stressed the importance of letting them know if it was, so they could manage the transition as best they could.

In all our business dealings, communication is key, not just with customers but people who work for us and during interactions with suppliers.

Businesses can be complex, we can often assume that people fully understand what the process is and what we are doing for them. There was a slight mix up in the despatching of an ambulance in my case, but it worked out better for me. Assessing priorities and the despatching of resources is a difficult process.

To run a business involves a lot of decision making, utilising not just our skills but information from many sources. But if we always remember that we are ultimately dealing with people, and strive to make those interactions as positive as possible will perhaps deliver more silver linings than burnished ones. The old adage to treat others as you would like to be treated, is as important now as it's always been.

Everyday Business Support, helping you make every day a better day.


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