Latest HR and L&D Forum

Our latest virtual forum with People, HR and Learning leaders covered some common themes that most firms are experiencing in their response to the current pandemic and the new ways of working.

There is a general mood of cautious optimism in most firms, combined with some cracks starting to appear as the length of time working remotely increases.

 

Staffing

  • Some restructuring has taken place in firms, which are now better resourced for the future
  • A number of staff remain on furlough, with a weekly review taking place
  • One firm reduced pay for all by 20% for 3 months and this has put them in a stronger position financially for the future
  • Most firms are launching or revising their flexible working policies

 

Offices

  • The majority of firms are planning a “soft” return, with October being the earliest return date for most with some small numbers are already back in
  • There is a fine balance to be made between: Gains/positives of working from home and the losses felt from not being in the office together
  • One firm was already undertaking a “smarter working” project prior to lockdown, with offices being referred to as “touch down spaces” going forwards

 

Challenges

  • Teams – supporting them to become cohesive teams again, they have been likened to an “ice berg starting to melt”
  • Pandemic burnout – a lot of people / teams are exhausted, mentally and physically – firms are focussing on mental well-being, especially as winter approaches and the daylight hours get shorter
  • Culture, it’s proving a real challenge giving people, especially new joiners, a sense of belonging. Can feel very isolated not physically being with people – a screen and virtual contact is second best
  • Cash collection tough in current environment

 

Initiatives

  • Some firms are using “health apps” and doing teams challenges to encourage competition
  • Virtual afternoon teas
  • “Curious Coffee” to virtually meet other people in the firm on a one to one basis

 

The next call takes place at 11am on Friday 2 October. If you would like to join please drop an email to hello@thegrogroup.com and we’ll send you a link!

Previous call summaries can be found here.