How trusting our people has enhanced customer support
We’ve looked after our people, and now they’re looking after us.
First and foremost, the coronavirus outbreak is a human tragedy that continues to affect hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. It’s also having a growing impact on the global economy and has seen businesses challenged like never before.
As recently as September 2019, a Capita study found that fewer than a third (32 per cent) of UK workers were allowed to work remotely, with almost three quarters (71 per cent) wanting to have the option of working from home. Fast forward to April 2020, and those businesses without key workers have been thrown into the deep end with no choice but to trust their employees to get on with the job at home to help flatten the Covid-19 curve.
Remote working is an example of business transformation that works on multiple levels. It serves the needs of individual employees and provides businesses with new resilient and adaptive ways to engage with their workforce. Crucially, it benefits the broader community by addressing the current public health needs.
While sending employees home to work for the foreseeable future has prompted challenges for businesses in maintaining corporate culture, communication, access and IT security, for some companies, the transition has been more straightforward.
The world’s tech giants were some of the first to make the switch to remote working for staff, thanks to pre-existing infrastructure such as office chat groups, remote access to critical tools and the fact that much knowledge work can be carried out remotely. Amazon, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Google, for example, advised workers to stop coming into the office as early as February.
It starts with trust
Being prepared for remote working is down to much more than having the right technology tools in place. For this style of working to be effective, organisations need to have an ingrained culture of trust, collaboration and support.
For us, the business case for building a culture based on trust is evident. When compared with industry competitors, companies with high-trust cultures experience 50 per cent lower employee turnover and earn customer satisfaction ratings that are 2.8 to 3.2 points higher than competitors.
Developing a high trust culture runs much deeper than simply allowing employees to work remotely. Great Place to Work defines a workplace trust culture as one in which employees believe that:
- Their leaders are credible
- They’re treated with respect as people and professionals
- The workplace is fundamentally fair.
Omni’s high-trust culture is founded upon our five core values, which are embedded throughout our organisation, with every member of the team involved in defining each one. In particular, our commitment to remaining agile and responsible in everything we do, helps us to reinforce our robust culture of trust.
Collaboration is key
We hear a lot about how digital collaboration tools are essential for successful remote working. There are online solutions for on-demand sharing, communicating and teaching, meaning workers, regardless of location, can benefit from linking up with colleagues to share ideas and solve problems. However, without undermining such tools, they can only deliver value if collaboration runs through the veins of a business.
Touching on one of our key values, Omni is wholly focused on collaboration both inside and outside our business. Since day one, our strength has come from joining forces with our people, clients, candidates and supply partners, working closely together to achieve success. This isn’t hyperbole; coming together to deliver results is what we do and applies whether we work in the office or not.
What the future looks like
Being prepared for remote working has ensured we can continue supporting everyone that we’re partnered with. Plans with clients that seemed set in stone as we entered 2020 have been turned on their head, yet we remain on-hand to provide the additional support that’s required of us. As we have trusted our people to adapt quickly, our clients have trusted us to do the same.
For every business, this is a time for increased flexibility. A Forbes study confirmed that increasing flexible working practices creates significant improvements in morale, productivity and engagement, so we know there are greater benefits than just ‘keeping the lights on’.
However, flexibility extends much further than allowing for remote working; it’s about creating agile strategies for day-to-day operations that account for every eventuality. If the current situation teaches businesses anything, it’s that complete control is impossible and that now’s the time to adopt an ‘anything can happen’ mindset to operations and the people affected. Ultimately, we hope that the real value of people will be fully realised and, when things return to normal, businesses will focus more on their employees, treat them with greater respect and ensure they’re looked after when times get tough.Omni is on-hand to offer any support, advice and guidance you need with regards to your team, workforce solutions or overall talent strategy during this time and beyond. Get in touch via our website or connect with our team on LinkedIn today.