2020 has been a tough and challenging year for everyone in our industry, both professionally and personally.  However, by adopting – and rapidly adapting to – new ways of operating and communicating, we have been able to maintain our work ethic and SPIRIT (Safety, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork) ethos.

Teamwork and support

By working closely together, we have overcome the many obstacles put in our way by the pandemic and I am extremely proud of how the EPC-UK team has performed under the immense pressures placed on them.

COVID-19 has not only challenged the way we work, but also the way we think and the impact on our mental health has been considerable. As a company, we have been working hard to support our employees who may be going through a particularly tough time, launching our Mental Health First Aid initiative at the end of last year – but it has really proved its worth in 2020.

Working closely with Mental Health First Aid England, we have now provided 47 EPC-UK employees with training which offers an in-depth understanding of mental health dynamics and the factors that can affect wellbeing; provides practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues; develops staff confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress; and teaches enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening.  This initiative continues to grow and we are constantly training more members of our team to become Mental Health First Aiders, to provide support to anyone who needs it.

Customer satisfaction

Together, we have also demonstrated a great determination in ensuring our customers continue to receive the consistently high level of service they have come to expect. To do this, we have had to modify the way in which we work and interact, both with our colleagues and our customers. This has led to the introduction of new communication methods and innovative ways of delivering our services – the most significant of which has been the further development of our digital offering.

IoQ Webinar CPD

The digitalisation of 2020 – and beyond

EPC-UK was already moving towards a more digital approach, but 2020 has compelled us to move more quickly towards our goal.

From making our customer newsletter ONSITE digital, to delivering our industry-renowned training courses remotely via webinars – our move to remotely delivered services has led to a more dynamic and transparent approach to our service and communication delivery. The change has allowed us to be more current, responsive and engaged – attributes that have been essential in helping both us and our customers navigate this difficult year.

Our customers have also embraced these developments, with our digital ONSITE newsletter being warmly received and our ‘Lifelong Learning Live’ series of webinars proving extremely popular. The success of these initiatives, together with the ongoing importance of virtual communication, means they will be carried forward into 2021. Whilst meeting our colleagues and customers face-to-face is preferable – and something we all hope we will be doing more of in the new year – the value of maintaining open and effective remote communication channels is immeasurable.

A final word for 2020

Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank every single member of the EPC-UK team who have worked so hard to keep everything ‘business as usual’, whilst having to adapt quickly to new operating and safety procedures. I would also like to thank our suppliers and customers, who have worked alongside us every step of the way and embraced the changes we have introduced. Merry Christmas to every one of you and here’s to a positive, productive and happy 2021.