The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) has launched its COVID-19 restart & rebuild strategy, incorporating three specific strands of support to help members out of lockdown.
The strategy has been designed to provide guidance and support to members in three ways; firstly, helping those individuals working for BALI members whose mental health may have suffered due to the virus, secondly, supporting member businesses with financial, HR and legal support, as well as professional advice for working safely whilst on site, and thirdly promoting members to clients via the BALI website to generate new leads.
BALI’s Chief Executive, Wayne Grills, commented on the latest strategy, “The resilience and determination of our members to get back to work, safely and responsibly, continues to impress me. Throughout COVID-19 I have seen countless examples of ways in which members have supported each other, their local communities and frontline workers, and we owe it to them to ensure their businesses and employees are protected with professional guidance and support. That is why, today, we are announcing our latest strategy to do just that; support, promote and inspire.”
The UK’s leading trade association for landscaping professionals, whose membership totals around 2,000 members across all four nations of the UK, over 900 of whom are Registered, has confirmed the strategy will be delivered under three distinct headings; people, prepare and promotion.
People - Providing assistance to those individuals employed by BALI members who need help and support with issues related to COVID-19. BALI's team at Landscape House are ready to listen and provide advice to support mental wellbeing, as well as working with industry partners who can provide expert support.
Prepare - Provide guidance to help business owners, managers and supervisors prepare for a return to work scenario with free COVID-19 specific documents, templates and webinars. From HR and legal to business support; BALI will further increase the availability of free resources to help with business acumen, recruitment, marketing and advertising.
Promotion - Rebuild client confidence in using an accredited landscape professional by advertising BALI on search engines and social media, centred around the key message the industry is open and trading safely. Raise awareness of BALI's membership benefits and how they can be utilised to support businesses looking to secure new work.
In May, BALI surveyed members to help identify how wide an impact the virus has had on members and their businesses and to find out how it could continue to help with guidance and support post lockdown. Highlights from the responses received include:
- Over half of members (53%) have partially furloughed their workforce
- 3% more staff working from home (51%) than those in on-site positions (48%) who are already back to work and adhering to strict social distancing measures
- 40% of members have seen contracts postponed and 13% cancelled
- Almost 40% of members reported that their company turnover will be affected for more than 12 months, with 20% reporting the hit will be more than 50%
- Almost 60% of members applied for funds from the Job Retention Scheme
- 63% of members want BALI to seek further clarity from government on ‘permitted works that are currently defined as outdoor working’
- 72% of members want BALI to provide more guidance and support on ‘return to worksite-based guidance (safety measures for operatives and supervisors)’ and almost half want more help with ‘business development (marketing consideration)’.
To deliver the strategy, BALI is planning to support members through COVID-19 to 31 March 2021 and beyond if required. Although the team hopes things will return to normal soon, in the meantime, they will continue to support members longer term with a continual development plan that follows government advice pertaining to COVID-19 as well as any feedback attained from members.
Some of the ways BALI will deliver the new strategy:
- Update its COVID-19 support webpage to make it even easier for members to find those helpful documents, templates and links
- Update relevant COVID-19 documentation and supporting templates in line with the latest guidance for both England and Scotland
- Develop a Code of Principles for members and their clients
- Host a 60-minute HR-focused webinar with legal representation on Tuesday 16 June 2020, in conjunction with Oracle Solicitors, with more free webinars planned throughout the year
- BALI and Perennial will host a mental health training and awareness webinar on Friday 19 June, designed to support individuals who may be struggling to cope with COVID-19
- BALI will be kicking off four informal drop-in sessions for members, online every Thursday throughout June, starting on Thursday 11 June 2020. Members can join from across the UK to share stories and catch up with team members from BALI Landscape House
- Launch a Google and Facebook advertising campaign in July to boost the number of client referrals to the BALI website in order to provide more leads for members listed online
- BALI is planning a new series of digital marketing webinars for July and August, designed to support members looking to advertise their business post COVID-19
- BALI's Register of Land-based Operations (ROLO) Health, Safety & Environmental Awareness Course is now online for Operative level, so Training Providers can sign up now to continue providing ROLO-related services. ROLO Supervisor and Manager are both anticipated to launch later in 2020
- Continue publishing physical and digital copies of both Landscape News and the Who's Who Landscape Directory to keep the membership network connected, informed and to promote members
- Continue lobbying on behalf of the landscape industry on critical COVID-19 related topics, as well as plant health and biosecurity issues
If you are a BALI member and would like more information on the new strategy, including how you can get involved, contact the team at Landscape House on +44 (0)24 7669 0333 or email email@example.com. For the latest information and support material for COVID-19 visit bali.org.uk/help-and-advice/covid-19-coronavirus. The portal includes helpful documents and templates that can be downloaded free of charge. Some documents may be available for BALI members only and a login will be required.