The pandemic brought with it huge changes for businesses small and large, and with a small, tight-knit team, Weploy and its’ internal employees felt these changes all the more significantly.
With everything from Culture, to ways of working, to team structure and communication flipped on its head, when the shock of everything died down and the world began to reopen and begin their reconciliation and continuity plans, we knew it was important to take the time to take stock, check-in with each other again and refresh our approach when it came to our internal communications. We identified a need for a "pulse-check" of our employees’ mental and physical wellbeing and a revisit of our People and Culture strategy to update, refresh and consolidate on a new forward plan.
After a conversation with Jason Burns, the Head of Talent and EVP at Businessary, a Melbourne based Business, HR and Marketing Consultancy, Weploy hosted the very first “WeCare Day” earlier this year. An expert in strategic Talent Acquisition and a passionate advocate of Employer Branding, Jason has near on two decades of experience leading in-house teams in tech, banking and insurance, and was in agreement that our approach needed a refresh. He advised that working with an external partner to help us with this would be the best way of Small to Medium businesses like ours achieving optimal results, with the kind of radical candour that can only be guaranteed with an impartial facilitator.
In collaboration with their team of experienced senior leaders within the realms of Business, Talent and Psychology, Jason designed a bespoke “Pulse-Check” for us, that involved a much more collaborative and consultative kind of approach that didn’t involve another survey. Jason and the team hosted private 1-1s with each employee, the Founders, and ran facilitated conversations within teams. One question was posed: “What should Weploy stop doing, start doing, and continue doing to improve the Employee Experience?” The focus areas were Engagement, Wellbeing and Mindset - to build a well-rounded picture of the status quo.
After listening, asking open-ended questions and encouraging honest feedback, the Businessary team enabled us to speak candidly about our perspectives. By creating safe and relaxed forums, individually and in groups, Jason was able to delve deeper and draw out more detail than our previous email surveys had ever done before. A couple of team members also admitted it was a bonding experience after working remotely for so long, and it felt good to “spill the tea”!
"It can be hard to feel confident baring all in an online forum, but I felt supported and safe enough to share my deepest thoughts and feelings about how I'm going"
With this, the Businessary team took away the insights and did the heavy lifting for us - summarising them and identifying recurring themes into a report which provided the Leadership team a 360 degree view into the overall Company health, within the three pillars: Engagement, Wellbeing and Mindset. Ultimately, the report provided the Leadership team with a set of recommended next steps or focus areas that were deemed most critical for Weploy to ensure an optimal Employee Experience moving forward. Drawing from global business strategy experience alongside working knowledge of Aussie small to medium business operations, the team at Businessary were able to identify five different focus areas for Weploy, from Communication, to Leadership and Strategy. Within each of these, three clear actions were suggested to deliver a holistic and practical plan that provided our Founders and Leadership team with the tools to move the business forward and meet our goals.
Since WeCare day, there has been two Company-wide catch ups in which the raw insights and focus areas were shared and the Internal Communications strategy is being revised and reiterated following the learnings all of us gained from the day. This will always be a work in progress, but having a dedicated ‘WeCare Day”, to touch base and share our honest feelings and thoughts with eachother is definitely going to be a regular practise for us here at Weploy, and we simply could not have done it without the help and expertise of Businessary.
If you have a need for Business Advisory, HR or Marketing Support, get in touch with Jason and the team at Businessary for a free consultation below.
Once an integral feature of most corporate recruitment processes, the term Cultural Fit was basically understood to mean someone who you’d be happy to go for a beer with. Highly subjective and completely arbitrary to whether someone is going to excel at the job or not, the act of hiring people based on whether we’d be happy to spend time with them outside of work is inherently flawed. Research proves that, unconscious or not, we’re all subject to bias and that our brains are wired towards pattern and similarity. When considering potential candidates, this means we’re statistically more likely to hire people like us which then breeds a homogenous culture and limits diversity of thought. “Not a cultural fit” became a blanket excuse for candidates that didn’t meet hiring managers’ preconceived idea of what the right person for the job should look like, sound like, even dress like.
Six months ago, I reached a massive milestone in my life when my wife excitedly ran down the stairs to show me a positive pregnancy test. Discovering our first child would be arriving in February 2020, we were beyond excited. We were also a little apprehensive about how this massive change would affect our lives. Going through the experience for the first time, we knew we’d have to learn a tonne of new things about how to care for a baby. Sleeping patterns would change and significant chunks of time would be dedicated to caring for our son. One of the biggest worries I had was balancing my role at Weploy alongside my new role as a Father. Marian Baird, professor of Gender and Employment Relations at the University of Sydney, said almost all eligible women take paid parental leave compared to about 25 to 30% of men. But, as 50% parent to my unborn son, not 25-30%, I had some concerns about my entitlements and how it would impact my career.
The impacts have been catastrophic, and the effects felt globally. A Gartner survey reveals 88% of organisations have encouraged or required employees to work from home due to Coronavirus, enforcing a global ‘Work from Home experiment’ which none of us saw coming and nobody had planned for. Surprisingly however, the experiment seems to have paid off. Studies have proven that most employees working remotely have not only adapted quickly to the new ways of working – but they have thrived too, reporting positive effects on their daily work, feeling more engaged, and having a stronger sense of well-being than those in non-remote jobs with little flexibility do. The post-COVID era is dawning, and now is the time to start planning for the Future Workplace.