Based in the UK, Elly Gallagher is Head of People and Values at Dynamic Planner.
I’d like to take a moment to share how incredibly proud I am to work alongside such professional team members at Dynamic Planner, who truly care about each other and our clients. We are fortunate to that we’re able to do our jobs from home and that our FinTech business continues to operate and serve our clients well. We are a small people team of just three, with @Sarah Burgess Recruitment & Office Manager, @Jo Kamle People & Office Administrator and myself.
What is the vision?
Our vision is to create a brilliant place to work for our colleagues. We’ve made it our mission to prove that through the unprecedented and truly difficult days of COVID-19 kindness always wins, and to care deeply about your colleagues is what matters most during times of crisis. We’ve worked with our leadership team to help embed this thinking from the ground up in supporting our team members and managers.
Adapting to a new way of working
Rewind the clock back to mid-February when, as news of the coronavirus spread escalated, we first started making plans and anticipated what was to come. We had a trial working from home day for the whole company on 13th March, and by the following week it had become our new normal way of working. I’m pleased that we introduced our formal flexible working policy back in November last year, and that we collaborated closely with our IT team to ensure that everyone had the right technology in place, as that has made working remotely so seamless.
Prioritising health and wellbeing
The health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues has always been front and foremost. We took the decision to switch to remote working earlier than was compulsory, and we continue to engage with our team to gain their thoughts through a survey on returning once it is safe to do so, as we begin to build plans to re-open the office at a later date.
We’ve absolutely supported flexible working and have empowered team members to be able to manage their work around their own personal situations, from home schooling, shielding vulnerable family members and helping in the community. We have found that this promotes inclusiveness and leads to the best outcome.
We fast tracked the launch of our Wellbeing Programme and have rolled this out at a time when it is needed more than ever. This has included raising awareness of the importance of wellbeing and reducing any stigma attached to mental health. We created our very own Health and Well-being hub, hosted on our intranet, which includes live Yoga sessions, stress techniques, exercise classes, healthy recipes and access to emotional and mental health support, plus much more. We have made it ok to say if you are not ok.
The importance of regular communication
We also recognised that we needed to communicate more than we normally would. Our CEO and Executive Team have been putting out regular vlogs to reassure team members and to update them on various activities. In addition, we’ve been running a weekly video meeting for our People Managers to ensure they are getting support, and a similar meeting for our Employee focus group which meets every other week. From these calls we learn how people are doing and can listen to any challenges and help overcome these. We offer our support, guidance and give everyone access to online learning courses (many of which are free of charge currently). We’ve held two all company video monthly business update meetings (usually held in the office) over Microsoft Teams.
We’ve also used Teams to collaborate and have fun virtually. We’ve really gotten to know our people better by meeting family members (children, parents and the cutest of pets), we’ve worn hats, funny glasses, had virtual tea breaks together and even found time to celebrate achievements and promotions.
Putting people first
Nothing has stopped our people team, who have had to change our onboarding and inductions of new starters and find new ways to continue our recruitment of talent. We’ve also remembered that giving something back is important, so we have been working with our local community by making foodbank and charitable donations.
This experience will be remembered for years to come and will change the way we think about work forever. The best thing that the people team takes from this experience is the knowledge that our efforts are appreciated as our colleagues have told us they feel cared for, supported and valued #InternationalHRDay #HRtogether
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