About the organisation
Capita is a consulting, digital services and software business. Every day our 61,000 colleagues in the UK and across the world help millions of people, by delivering innovative solutions to transform and simplify the connections between businesses and customers, governments and citizens. We partner with clients and provide the insight and cutting-edge technologies that give time back, allowing them to focus on what they do best and making people’s lives easier and simpler.
What challenges were you trying to address?
During the pandemic, we’re proud to have been asked by the government to explore more than 100 situations to support the COVID-19 response to date and are also supporting our private sector clients to respond to higher demand from their customers. This has already included work for the NHS and other healthcare support, such as helping the NHS onboarding process for thousands of returning doctors and nurses; enabling government to communicate with, and support, vulnerable people during the crisis; providing digital technology to a London health trust; contributing resource to healthcare call centres; and being part of an initiative to set up health testing centres. Much of this work is being delivered by people working from home.
Like all companies, we have been taking measures to keep our colleagues safe, while continuing to provide a great service to our clients and their customers. This involves learning to work differently. For many, they will be working from home for the first time, for others they will be furloughed or continuing to work from an office but with new distancing measures in place.
What goals or outcomes did Capita want to achieve?
We wanted to create a framework for our colleagues, wherever they work, so that they feel connected and supported, while remaining true to Capita’s values. That is why we developed our “working apart but together” pledge.
What was your solution?
We created our “working apart but together” pledge with five commitments to act as a conversation starter between managers and their teams. It involves:
- Setting boundaries – Create your own personal routine, with clear start and finish times along with breaks, and respecting the boundaries of others
- Trusting each other – We all have different priorities, we must trust each other to work flexibly around other commitments
- Remaining connected – When you would have spoken to someone in the office, use video chat so you still have interaction
- Prioritising wellbeing – Taking time for yourself to exercise, taking annual leave and prioritising your mental health
- Making time to check in – Always take time to check in on colleagues, and take time for virtual coffee breaks and socials to support each other, not just on work challenges.
Looks great, 'one page flyer' style, will encourage everyone to read rather than pages of information, well laid out, concise and informative for those who don't work from home as well as those who do, just a reminder that everyone should take the pledge.— Capita colleague feedback
How did you roll out your solution?
We started by identifying a number of challenges around home working that a number of our colleagues were experiencing. Working with our internal forums we developed the pledge so that it was relevant to the issues faced by our teams.
Following this, we distributed it to managers and then colleagues through our usual internal emails, and on Yammer, encouraging managers to check in with their teams, discuss home working and the pledge.
Our aim is to have the pledge act as a conversation starter within teams and with managers, encouraging colleagues to reflect on their own situation and what they can do to improve the way they work. We are not requiring colleagues to sign it to avoid it becoming a tick box exercise.
What have the results been?
It remains too early to tell the full results yet, but we have had really positive feedback from colleagues across the business. This pledge is part of our continued commitment to our colleagues, and to keeping them safe, while continuing to operate effectively.
What advice would you give to organisations who want to support the carers in their workforce?
The critical part is engaging with colleagues. Any working pledge has to be built for employees, with employees, responding to their needs and thoughts. We have an internal sounding board of people working in all parts of the business at all seniority levels, who had the opportunity to feed in, suggest changes to the content and ensure that it was accurate and effective. We also needed to bear in mind that not all staff are working from home, for example those doing essential tasks which can’t be done remotely - many teams are working in different ways.