By RedBalloon for Business

Developing People – Creating the ‘New’ Experience of Work

The leadership team at the Big Red Group (BRG) has been working hard to conceptualise what the workplace may look like come 2021 – will it have the same needs that we previously had, are we expecting that people will continue to work more flexibly? What’s best for the business?

We know our people are our greatest asset – when they grow, we grow. So, a big part of our thinking throughout COVID has been around development, making sure we are still providing team members with enough opportunities to connect, learn and flourish.

Onboarding of new people has been particularly challenging during this time of remote working. As BRG is in growth mode, one third of our team has never stepped foot inside a physical office, having started after we relinquished our office in March.

Despite being decentralised, our priority has been to make sure people coming into the business feel the same kind of welcome, engagement, inclusion and support that they would feel if attending an office.

Getting off to a good start really does set the scene for long term success, with 69% of employees more likely to stay in an organisation for 3+ years if their onboarding experience is a good one. And with employee turnover rates costly for any business (costing up to 2.5 times an employee’s salary, plus disruption and lost productivity), retaining people is essential.

This has taken some out of the box thinking by our People and Culture (P&C) team, who have done a fantastic job in transitioning us to a scalable digital onboarding system, which could in fact, be better than how we used to do it. Through leveraging these leading technologies, we have also eliminated much of the paperwork which aligns with our sustainability mission.

One of our initial concerns with remote onboarding, was being able to set the tone and share our culture – to ensure people were informed and excited about joining our organisation, and could understand what we’re all about. So, the P&C team innovated to develop some processes to mitigate this:

    1. Setting monthly intake dates, so there’s always more than one new starter to share the journey with from day one
    2. Introducing buddies, pairing new starters with aspiring leaders to support and mentor them
    3. Attending face-to-face meetings with managers (if possible) during the first week, via one of our WOTSO shared working hubs
    4. Delivering structured online / interactive training modules covering our history and culture, led by our senior leadership team and department heads
    5. Daily check-ins, weekly online ‘Town Halls’ and monthly ‘Experiences @ Work’ gatherings
    6. Regular surveys to stay connected with how people are feeling
    7. Delivering welcome kits to new starter homes, full of goodies and experience vouchers to create excitement and embed a sense of our culture – we’re all about experiences

We’ve found that all this applied thinking throughout COVID has led to a lot of process improvements. We’ve really had to think about how we do things, how we can structure things better, and what we can improve and streamline.

We’ve only got one chance to make a first impression, so the Big Red Group team is making sure that it counts.



RedBalloon for Business recently launched a comprehensive white paper (one of the modules is Development) – Creating the ‘New’ Experience of Work, download your copy today

Download RedBalloon for Business white paper