Like many businesses, we’re incredibly proud of our strong sense of community culture.
When lockdown struck, we wanted to make sure our values were maintained so that teams felt connected, even when they were apart. That way, we could keep morale high and, in turn, give our customers the best experience possible.
Scalable technology, even from home
In the early stages of lockdown, we had to act quickly. Despite having never experienced anything like this before, we successfully transitioned 100% of the business to remote working, including nearly 100 Customer Service Advisors who had never worked from home. And we did it all within a week of government announcements.
Everyone stepped up to the challenge and rallied behind our customer base, as they knew that now, more than ever, small business owners would need guidance and moral support.
Zooming into customer-first solutions
Despite the continued uncertainty, the momentum we felt to protect our customers, colleagues and culture, was incredible.
The announcement of a UK lockdown had completely blindsided a vast number of small businesses. No face-to-face trading gave thousands working in hospitality sleepless nights. Which was why we ramped up our communication and provided proactive solutions for our customers at a time when the news was, and still is confusing, to say the least.
Because the backbone of our culture is our customers. We don’t just provide them with a one-off service, then shut the doors. We take pride in our involvement in their success. From starting their first coffee shop to transitioning to an award-winning bakery across the UK, our customers are what drive us.
Keeping the culture alive
After spending a lot of time and energy creating a dynamic, uplifting environment, where teams could collaborate effectively, shutting our office doors was tough.
Being a tech company, working from home created some huge challenges. However, we managed to overcome these with some innovative solutions and dedication. Because ensuring that our people felt comfortable, connected and part of the team while at home was essential.
What did we do to keep the culture thriving?
Communication is at our core
- Introduced ‘Ask us Anything’ video calls with our founders – It was important to keep an open-book policy and flat hierarchy even when people were harder to reach out to. That’s why our company founders ran a Q&A session for employees to ask about anything.
- Launched product webinars – Typically we have product team meetings to keep our vision aligned across the company. This became a product webinar which saw different teams get creative to share the successes or hurdles they've faced.
- Created a space to chat – #stayconnected was our dedicated Slack channel to give people a space to have a virtual water cooler chat that wasn’t work-related. We’ve seen holiday pictures, yoga poses, running challenges, new babies and 'throwback Thursdays'.
Ramping up physical and mental wellbeing
- Zoom fitness classes – We worked with Mobfit to digitise our weekly fitness classes.
- Weekly cook-along and art classes – Lockdown has been difficult for our creative energy, and we wanted to help people get inspired.
- Mental health awareness – We created an open dialogue for everyone to communicate how lockdown and isolation have impacted their emotional wellbeing. To help people receive the right support, we reached out with resources, webinars, 1-2-1 sessions.
Deep diving into research & development
- Mind Couch webinar – We kick-started our very own internal webinar covering different topics each week. From specific training sessions on data and budgeting to engaging discussions on how to feel more confident in your role.
- Linkedin Learning – For those on furlough or some free time, we rolled out an extensive range of LinkedIn courses and training sessions on how to make the most of them.
- Customer Hour – Lockdown gave us an incredible opportunity to understand how we could go the extra mile to support our customer base. The whole company participated in interactive webinar sessions and suggested proactive ways we can make business owners' lives easier.
The lockdown period has been challenging for many people; however, we’ve seen our employee engagement scores at their highest levels ever across the business.
People have said they feel even more connected, particularly across the different offices, where we've seen the barriers of geography broken down by Zoom.
Across the business, we've achieved an enormous amount during the lockdown, and we aren’t in a rush to bring people back to the office until they're comfortable and it’s safe to do so.
Our next challenge is maintaining all the positive benefits we’ve seen when it comes to communication and connection across the offices.