Our COVID-19 approach
COVID-19: So how different are we?
Well, if you take our approach to responding to the recent COVID-19 crisis as a recent example, you'll begin to understand more about how we operate. For some years now and before the term 'agile working' was ever the norm, we had focused on enabling greater opportunities for flexible and more efficient working. We worked hard to move both our culture forward and working practices, to deliver new and more effective ways of delivering our services. We invested wisely to introduce the tools and IT infrastructure to support this forward-thinking approach.
So as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, this approach enabled us to concentrate on the most important things quickly.
We offered all staff the capability to work from home, delivering any additional equipment swiftly to suit their needs and we provide regular virtual check in’s. Our shrewd business continuity and emergency incident planning helped the business transition from office-based working, to a full home working model quickly and efficiently. Our early commitment to look after and protect the health of our staff was instrumental to our immediate response and saw the organisation move to a fully remote working solution, well ahead of the government’s restrictions and that of other organisations, not just those in the sector.
All our staff remained fully operational throughout, our strong and tested communication processes were employed to keep all staff up to date with our actions and to ensure business as normal activity.
Being a people focused business, our priority was to ensure the safety and health of our tenants, particularly those most in need. Support packages and protective measures for our most vulnerable customers were put in place immediately. A few examples of these include food delivery services, emotional support and daily contact for those most isolated. We also provided our popular ‘tea and chat’ contacts, all run by our own dedicated staff and volunteers, who in many cases offered their own spare time where needed, to phone customers who had asked us and simply wanted to hear a friendly voice.
An update on our recruiting approach during COVID-19
Our strong sense of purpose along with our robust financial position means that we are committed to both protecting our unique culture and safeguarding key opportunities. At present, rather than furloughing employees in this climate, we have continued our business activities as normal amidst the disruption. This extends to our general recruitment processes.
The effects of the coronavirus are being felt around the world, and will impact general business activity and our way of life for some time, however, what is certain is that for our business to thrive, we need committed, talented and adaptable people.
We don’t know when the current situation will end or what the 'end' looks like, but we have for some time been planning and adapting our business for our new way of working, to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. We're already thinking about what we want our new world to look like when some sense of normality resumes. Things will never be the same again and we're determined to make sure that the changes we make are for the better. We always look for opportunities to improve and evolve no matter how deep the crisis - this is just part of the way we do things.