Pitcher Partners response to ACS interview questions
3 June 2021
- Pitcher Partners identify their clients’ and staff needs in the pandemic.
- Pitcher Partner release the ‘new normal’ report that highlights employer and employee expectations.
- Pitcher Partners give advice for other organisations who may be struggling to get back to their full capacity.
How did Pitcher Partners manage the pandemic?
At Pitcher Partners Melbourne, our clients and our people are at the core of our business.
Throughout the pandemic, we have been engaging in genuine conversations about the ongoing impacts and adaptability to providing client services in a different way in an everchanging environment.
How did you respond to the needs of your clients and your staff?
From early in the pandemic, Pitcher Partners identified our clients need to receive accurate and real-time information on support available to their business through government incentives, such as JobKeeper. We focused on understanding complex information, and developing practical and digestible content for our clients. This content was accessible across a range of formats, including social media, media alerts and webinars.
We also proactively engaged in conversations with clients about the general health of their business to identify ways we could support them to continue operating as effectively as possible.
For our people, our existing technology systems meant the transition to working from home was smooth. Following the initial transition, we launched a range of programs to touch base with our people, and ensure connection and engagement through the virtual environment.
Pitcher Partner released the ‘New Normal’ report earlier this year. What are some of the key findings from the report that you can share?
Workplaces are preparing for a widescale adoption of a hybrid working model, with over 90% of employers intending to offer flexible working arrangements into the future.
However, the report found that employer and employee expectations of benefits and issues were not necessarily aligned. Employees felt a hybrid working model would improve productivity, although raised concerns around isolation and a lack of socialisation. Employers identified managing staff as the most significant challenge of a hybrid working model.
Employers and employees agree that flexibility and choice, which lead to work life balance, are the key outcome of hybrid work. Employers also cited increased productivity and retention as the key benefits, while employees cited savings of both time and money. We weren’t surprised that the report showed that offering additional benefits or increasing pay topped employees list of suggestions to entice them back into the office.
Planning also appeared to be an issue, with nearly one in four employers not having a return to office plan, this is particularly saw in smaller organisations.
To download the report, please click here.
What tech trends have emerged in response to the pandemic?
As we experienced, employers and employees embraced a wide range of technology enabled communication channels, such as Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp and Slack. 60% of employers are still continuing to use these.
The report also found that cyber security and data protection were top of mind with 40% of companies, providing additional information and training to support remote working. We’re also increasingly being engaged to consult on these topics with our clients.
Do you have any advice for other organisations who may be struggling to get back to their full capacity?
It’s important to engage with your people and understand their concerns and preferences, and to proactively address any gaps to what is required for your business to operate effectively.
Isolation and loss of social connection is a risk that needs to be managed. This can be mitigated through building workplace culture and fostering opportunities, to encourage connection and collaboration in the office. Also consider reconfiguring offices and workspaces to facilitate socialisation, connection and collaboration.
Connectivity, reliable internet and access to company infrastructure remains an issue for some. Further upgrading or rethinking of technology solutions may be required to support hybrid or remote working models in the long term.
Planning is key to a successful transition. Key elements to consider include cyber security, performance management frameworks and communication.