In another installment of our Trust Insight Webinar Series, we focused on the Central Bank of Ireland’s Covid-19 people strategy. The proposition from the organisation’s leadership team was simple yet effective, that practices would provide care and clarity for their employees, in a period of great uncertainty.
To better understand this strategy, we sat down with the insightful Liz Graham, People Relations Manager with the Central Bank, who provided some fascinating insights into how the organisation provided support through implementing HR best practices, engaging with their employees and leveraging the benefits of a workplace culture, where employee wellbeing comes first.
Liz discussed the cultural change that occurred within the organisation following the controversy surrounding the 2008 financial collapse. To rebuild trust, the restructured leadership team would adopt an approach centred around listening and transparency. These lasting changes helped to prepare the central bank to navigate the current crisis.
In an effort to provide clarity and comfort to employees as the pandemic began to unfold, the organisation’s crisis response team outlined contingency plans for staff should difficult scenarios arise.
Listening was considered vital, a dedicated pandemic call line was set up to offer advice to affected employees. In addition, those employees required to self-isolate were called by HR representatives to check in on their wellbeing, something greatly appreciated by staff.
Workshops were developed to provide leaders with the tools to support employees through numerous scenarios. This enabled managers to feel more comfortable with the situation, while also supporting consistency of approach moving forward.
Open communication has been vital during the crisis, with the leadership network coming together every two weeks to discuss strategy, expectations and support needed by staff. A people-first approach would always form the framework for decisions made.
A pulse survey administered through GPTW confirmed that the Central Bank’s strategy to provide care and clarity for employees had been successful. Staff reported they felt trusted, supported, and had confidence in the decisions made by leaders.
In May, questions began to arise regarding a return to office work. Where it was outlined that it may be another 6 months until that would be possible, the trust built through a transparent communication strategy, softened the blow of this news for those preferring to return to site.
Far removed from the general perception of the Central Bank having infinite resources to enhance employee experience, the most beneficial initiatives have been those that involved positive leadership behaviours. These require time and care, not vast financial resources.
The employee first, caring and clarity strategy employed by the Central Bank certainly appears to have struck a chord with their staff. Transparent communication, listening to employee concerns, and demonstrating genuine care for staff are all pillars of the Great Place to Work Programme, and the progress of such initiatives can be gauged through our pulse survey offerings.
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. We help organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. We recognise Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in more than 60 countries.