When COVID-19 started to impact Australia, every organisation had to adapt fast. At Nous, we are proud of the way we have maintained productivity, supported clients, and kept every Nouser informed, engaged and employed throughout the difficult months of the pandemic so far.

We are delighted to have been recognised as a Finalist in the 2020 Australian HR Awards in the category of Best Change Management Strategy. This acknowledges the work led by the Nous Executive Board and our COVID-19 response team in planning for and leading our organisation through this period of change and disruption.

Nous Managing Director Tim Orton commented: “This nomination is a well-deserved acknowledgement of those who have led Nous’s navigation through COVID-19 so far. Congratulations to those who have played a leadership role, and to all Nousers whose spirit and hard work have shone through in these difficult months. Because of the efforts and short-term sacrifices made by our entire team Nous has delivered on our commitment to full, continuing employment for all of our people.”

We believe that the success of our change management efforts so far comes down to four key factors:

  • Planning. We initiated early, precautionary preparations for COVID-19 through our Nous Executive Board (NEB) and COVID-19 response team. Our plan and communications were clear, thorough and available to all Nousers, providing detailed thinking and transparency to help us all prepare for what lay ahead.
  • Technology. We were well positioned for remote working through our long-standing flexible work policies and IT infrastructure, which allowed our people to readily work off site. When we flicked the switch to remote working in March, all staff could continue working with minimal disruption and we made efforts to share and document virtual best practice as an immediate priority.
  • Leadership. We know this has been a stressful time for our people (and clients) given the ongoing disruptions to work and home. Our leaders continue to communicate frequently and openly with all employees. To avoid the need for redundancies, we reduced pay for all employees for a short period. The proposed salary reductions were communicated with respect and dignity and every one of our almost 400 Nousers accepted the temporary reduction, indicating their confidence in the process. Due to the hard work and commitment of our people, we have recently been able to return to full pay.
  • Care and connection. We continue to prioritise having meaningful interactions and building connections amongst colleagues. We use spare capacity to accelerate strategic initiatives, we check in regularly with each other – formally and informally – and we leverage our social networking platform Workplace to share our experiences.

The winners of the 2020 Australian HR Awards will be announced later this year.