Like many people, I’ve recently had to make the shift from a situation where working from home once or twice a week was a ‘nice to be able to do’, to a situation where it’s a necessity.

For company, I often have the radio on in the background, which means I get exposure to a lot (more) adverts. One, in particular, had really started to bug me. It was for an online betting company fronted by a certain former football manager and erstwhile ‘King’ of the (celebrity) jungle. It seemed to be running all the time. I thought to myself: ‘Surely it can’t be responsible to be promoting gambling at a time when so many people are facing financial hardship and looking for ways to make ends meet?’

Happily, someone there obviously had the same thought, and that brand’s radio advertising now includes an execution where said former footy manager is advising that ‘Sometimes your best bet is not to take the bet at all’.

That got me thinking about other organisations that are doing what they can (big or small) to make a difference in the fight against Covid-19 and its far reaching impacts. It goes without saying that our fantastic care providers (across the entire care sector) are at the very top of the list. Up there too are transport and logistics companies and their employees, and staff at retailers such as Sainsbury’s – making sure our key workers can get to where they are needed most, and that we can all continue to be fed.

But I also came across other organisations who have joined the effort. You have the work being put in by engineering companies to produce ventilators and masks, some of which we have been made aware of through the media. And there are others still. Companies like Diageo which is either donating existing stocks of Grain Neutral Spirit or manufacturing it, on an international basis, to be used in the production of hand sanitizers for the healthcare system, for patients and in vulnerable communities. Others like Decathlon, which has donated swimming goggles to be used as eye shields in hospitals. Or Nike and Merrell who, respectively, are producing face shields and donating comfy footwear to healthcare workers. The effort in the hiking, mountain climbing, and general leisure sector is greater than I imagined it could be. The fashion sector is also playing its part, right down to the SME level, where I’ve heard stories about garment manufacturers switching to making hospital gowns and scrubs.

This blog didn’t actually start out as being about employer branding - the title came last. Mainly, I just wanted to express my thanks and admiration for the way organisations such as these have adapted what they do day to day to help everyone get through these difficult times. But the link with employer branding is undoubtedly there, because these organisations are representative of the ones we will want to continue working for, or indeed to join, when these strange and challenging days and months come to an end. Ones that can adapt to the times they are in, but which also do business with their hearts as well as their heads. Places where colleagues are able to come together as even stronger teams when the times demand it.

Keep safe and well all.