Innovation in our people
As we all continue to operate in various forms of self-isolation, lockdown or indeed curfew for some countries, the business world is truly facing a unique set of challenges across the globe. From what I can see, the majority of the publications of late are all about how to work efficiently at home… while this is obviously very important as people are adapting to new circumstances, I do feel that there is actually a rather more important challenge and that is the wellbeing of staff and staff retention.
Over the past couple of weeks, Hanover have had countless conversations with clients via phone, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Teams, GoToMeetings and Zoom – to name a few! I thought it would be useful, or perhaps just intriguing, to share what some of our core clients are doing to maintain business continuity while ensuring that staff are always being supported:
Flexible work hours: While this seems obvious if you are working remotely, it is not that simple. Several organizations have recognized that now schools have been closed, staff that have children at home are having to adapt and adjust schedules to ensure the children are keeping up with schoolwork. To facilitate this balancing act, a few employers have allowed their staff to log on to work at times that work around core “school hours”.
Virtual Onboarding: With technology today, many businesses have found that they are having to innovate on how they keep to a business plan with regards to hiring. One major challenge is the onboarding of staff and executives, which is traditionally done in person as people get to understand their new companies and colleagues. With restrictions in place, companies are relying on shipping all the technology required to new employee’s residence and onboarding everyone via video conference.
Annual bonus considerations: This is the time of year when, typically, several Financial Institutions pay annual bonuses. Most firms have continued to pay bonuses as promised. However, one interesting development was that some firms are adding a component to the bonus calculations this year – an additional percentage to consider that a family member employment status may have been adversely affected. As such, an additional amount is provided to support the family during this period.
Financial Support for care: Many people have found that isolation means finding alternative care for those who require additional support due to age or disabilities. To streamline the process of finding support, companies have provided a weekly cash allowance that allows people to pay someone of their choice to provide support to those in need.
Supporting local communities: It has been amazing to see how many companies are injecting more capital into their charity and community efforts. There is a consensus that the shareholder profit may not be the most important consideration at this stage… while all organizations need to maintain financial stability to operate, many businesses have been finding ways to give back to communities where they operate. This has ranged from sponsorships, funding of medical equipment, supporting those who are out of work and families going through difficulties. Very noble action that is not just a marketing stunt!
In summary, it has been amazing to see how organizations are adapting to what could be considered one of the most testing times for economies and consumers. People are imperative to keep a business going. Adapting to create opportunities for our people to thrive is paramount to success. Hanover is here to assist clients, so should you wish to discuss any of the innovative ways our clients are adapting or want to discuss current people challenges, please do not hesitate to get in touch: James Ridd