Here at Joshua James, we recently celebrated our 10th birthday, which for us means 10 years of success that couldn’t have happened without the support of our loyal customers.
With this in mind, we decided that we wanted to give back and do something to help them during these difficult and uncertain times. Since the beginning of the pandemic, all of our lives have been drastically altered, and along with the rest of the population we have experienced feelings of panic and concern.
We felt that it was extremely important to give our team a sense of purpose and motivation during a time when it is very difficult not to feel helpless. Our goal was to achieve a sense of control in this situation, while also giving something back to those who are struggling.
So we started to look at ways that we as a business can make a positive impact, both on the community and on a wider scale. We recently partnered with Trees for the Future, a charity that not only offsets carbon emissions through extensive reforestation projects, but also benefits the lives of farmers through training and employment opportunities.
When looking back at the effect that this partnership had on the Joshua James team, it became clear that it led to a boost in morale, as they found more satisfaction in their work knowing the positive impact it would have. We wanted to build on that sense of fulfillment by contributing to society at a more local level and helping those who are in a vulnerable position right now. That meant first deciding on an appropriate effort to dedicate our time to.
Following research and discussions among the team, we developed our Charity Charms Project, aimed at raising money and awareness in aid of Age UK: a charity which provides companionship, advice and support for older people who desperately need it right now. Our in-house engraving team worked hard to create a unique range of charms that were designed and printed specifically for this endeavor.
These charms were designed and created with a reduced engraving team in-house, while the entirety of our marketing and content teams worked from home. As the project required input from every department, it was a great way to test out our newly adjusted ways of working! Marketing Manager Ellie commented, “It was a great feeling to collaborate on a project with such an important charity, and it was a great excuse to be in very frequent contact across the teams which makes you feel less like you’re alone at home.”
The charms, which featured messages of support and positivity, launched on March 30th and sold out on April 6th – just one week later. The project generated over £3k in sales with 100% of profits from them going to Age UK, who had just launched their emergency COVID-19 appeal at the time of the range going live.
Following on from our charity efforts this month, we have identified the two key things that we believe will help us navigate through these difficult times: contribution and communication.
Having spoken to the team following the Charity Charms Project, they confirmed that being given the opportunity to contribute to society and knowing they can make a difference has had a hugely positive impact on their morale and drive. We would highly recommend that other jewellery businesses look into giving back to society in order to help motivate and inspire their teams during these uncertain times.
It’s important to note that this does not have to be a huge, costly endeavor; charities are greatly appreciative of any and all contributions at the moment. It could be as simple as dedicating a small percentage of profits to a local charity, or setting an internal challenge for your team to safely donate to food banks. The key thing is that your contribution is an authentic, meaningful gesture that will make a difference to those in need.
The second action, communication, may seem fairly obvious. But we believe that effective communication entails more than just a weekly check-in with the team. From chatting with each other and seeing individuals share their thoughts on social media, we recognise that isolating can be very challenging and lonely for many. To make lockdown easier for everyone, we would suggest encouraging your teams to stay in close contact through activities such as quizzes and casual catch-ups.
Effective communication also involves providing clear and frequent updates to your team with regards to performance, changes to the business and new processes (such as how to connect with each other when working remotely). You can strengthen this communication by providing key contacts for questions around each topic, for example offering the mobile number of the IT contact who can best support with connectivity issues while working from home.
It may seem obvious, but one of the best things we can do right now as businesses is to speak openly with our teams. We’re all in this together and open communication will help to ensure our teams have the tools and support they need at this difficult time. And if you find your team has the time to commit to it, take this opportunity to look at how you can work with your community and help to give back.
Submitted by Joshua James Jewellery