The LifeSearch EOY (virtual) Conference 2020
3 Dec 2020
“Covid's been tough”
And the LifeSearch Award for most obvious statement goes to…
Every year, every normal year, LifeSearch host our end-of-year conference and awards show. Think big room, party, drinks, fun. Together as one we reflect on the year's challenges, celebrate our successes, and reward standout 'Searchers for their contributions to the business and beyond.
It's a bit different this year. No big room. No together, physically anyway. We're a 500-strong company and haven't seen one another since March. During lockdown, 34 new 'Searchers have joined … so some of us haven't even met.
But the show must go on and it's December 4th for the first-ever virtual all-LifeSearch end-of-year conference. It's still a party, there's drinks. There's music (‘Searchers get your requests in), a live DJ and even a little gameshow action.
If we dwelt on this year's challenges we'd be there 'till next Christmas. Covid's been tough so we're looking to the positives.
The 2020 LifeSearch Awards
People make LifeSearch and we celebrate that every year. Too right we're doing it in 2020. We have awards that reward performance and quality; for advisers, teams and leadership. But we also reward learning and development, and we celebrate the year’s brightest ideas.
We acknowledge our rising stars, culture champions and pioneers. So brilliant have our people been in 2020 that instead of honouring our usual one legend, this year we’re honouring two.
Anyone can win awards. And when 'Searchers progress in their careers here – nearly 100 did in 2020 – it's not all about their stats. We heavily consider people's awards and their contributions to our culture, the industry and the world.
We can't say too much now, but one of our 2020 winners is a legit lifesaver. And another, who worked their way up through perseverance and talent, is poised to show the world what's possible with no budget and a lot of inspiration.
Celebrating LifeSearch from home
Thinking back to that dark day in March, our 500-person company managed to transition, literally overnight, to an entirely remote, at-home workforce with no break in service for customers.
It's all a tremendous credit to our tech team and CTO Chris Neilson.
We also have a world-class intranet which has kept us engaged and connected during lockdown. Every day, our wellness platform asked 'Searchers to register their mood scores and the year’s average shook out at 4.3/5.
A special nod goes to Gareth Jones, our Head of Customer Engagement, who wrote and published a book in lockdown. Non-exec Alison and marketing's Angus helped the PPE effort at their local hospital; just as LifeSearch began a donations programme that saw us raise over £40,000 for two charities.
The business mission continued full-throttle as CMO Emma Walker not only grew our brand but successfully campaigned for an investigation into fraudulent practice. Without skipping a beat, CEO Tom Baigrie maintained his fight for better signposting and access in insurance among his many high level projects.
A special milestone
LifeSearch 2020 saw no redundancies and we haven’t furloughed anyone. We've added and stayed strong. By late summer, 'Searchers had spent 14,000 hours in coaching sessions, 5,000 hours in leadership development and 750 hours in mental health training. We've shown tremendous resilience.
This isn't the year to boast about business wins or the bottom line – too many people and sectors have struggled and suffered. Covid's been tough.
We just ask for some leeway as we give final word to one very special milestone.
In summer, we protected our 600,000th family and our 1,000,000th life. Back in 1998, when the company was three ‘Searchers and a desk, this seemed almost impossible.
So among the fun, it's silver linings and gratitude at conference this year. It'll be different.
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