Nous Group’s industry-leading approach to innovation in people practices has been honoured with inclusion on the Human Resources Director Innovative HR Teams 2021 list.

The inclusion on the list, prepared by industry publication HRD, reflects the hard work and creativity of the People team in supporting the 400-strong Nous team across 11 locations in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom during the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Sally Pritchard, the Nous Chief People Officer, said the honour showed Nous was leading the way among professional services firms in creating an environment where our people can work most productively by supporting their full needs as people as well as team members.

“Our COVID-19 response and efforts focused on keeping Nousers well, productive and engaged in the delivery of great work for our clients,” Sally said. “Central to achieving this was our long-standing embrace of flexibility, trust and adaptability, and recognition of individual experiences.

“For more than 20 years Nous has been delivering bold and personalised consulting services with a team of expert and engaging people. Achieving this requires setting our people up for success by creating the right environment for people to thrive and by adapting to changing circumstances.”

During 2020, the Nous People team delivered HR advice and support to staff across the world as they pivoted to remote work and delivery while progressing strategic priorities.

People innovations in 2020 include:

  • Implementing a hub-and-spoke IT ecosystem so we can plug best-of-breed HR systems into a core HR information system (HRIS). Nous implemented an HRIS (Sage) and a learning experience and management system (Learn Amp) to complement recruitment (Greenhouse) and our performance feedback system (Lattice).
  • Leveraging this innovative IT ecosystem to gain valuable data to inform business decisions, to create a streamlined onboarding process and to manage the full employee experience, including digital learning.
  • Evolving our performance approach to elicit rich feedback while simplifying the process.
  • Introducing two Lattice features: end-of-project feedback and one-on-ones to track talent and career conversations and provide continuous, timely feedback.
  • Redesigning and delivering more than 10 virtual learning programs and more than 33 Savvy Sessions (interactive webinars).
  • Onboarding our largest ever grad intake of 32 graduates. This included designing and delivering our first two-week immersive induction, followed by regular check-ins to share cohort feedback themes, generate ideas and build connection.
  • Establishing a Toronto office, with accompanying employment infrastructure, including six relocations of Australian colleagues. By the end of 2020 the Toronto office had grown to 14 employees, and continues to grow in 2021.
  • Transforming wellbeing initiatives, including launching WorkWell (Nous’ wellbeing approach and related material), an R U OK? Day campaign (with senior Nousers sharing their stories and message that it is okay to be vulnerable) and personal calls to all Nousers from the CPO and Company Secretary during the first months of COVID.

In delivering this Nous maintained employee happiness and culture, as measured through our monthly climate survey. Average enjoyment has remained steady at our target. We also had 100 per cent of employees agree to a temporary salary reduction to avoid redundancies and are now recruiting.