Nous Group has been honoured with an Excellence Award at the Australian HR Awards 2020 in the category of Best Change Management Strategy for our adaptation to COVID-19. We congratulate the category winner, Hume Community Housing, and all other nominees and winners.

Nous’ recognition in the HR Awards, announced on 3 December, acknowledges the achievements of the organisation in supporting its nearly 400 people in Australia, the UK and Canada during the pandemic, while continuing to partner with our clients on their biggest challenges.

Sally Pritchard, the Head of People at Nous, said the result showed how the Nous team rose to the challenge of coronavirus.

“Every organisation around the world had to think fast and act smart when the pandemic struck,” Sally said. “At Nous we set ourselves up for success long ahead of time by establishing a culture, instituting processes and investing in technology that allowed us to adapt to rapid changes.”

Key features of Nous’ COVID response include:

  • Planning. The Nous Executive Board established a COVID-19 team that quickly developed a response plan and employee communication, a 10-page guide available to all Nousers. The plan established three COVID-19 severity levels and detailed what would take place in Nous at each level. It covered client engagement, project delivery, technology, financial management and people and culture. This detailed thinking and transparency helped prepare staff for what lay ahead.
  • Technology. Nous was well positioned for remote working through our long-standing flexible work policies and IT infrastructure, which allowed staff to readily work off site. We had embedded collaborative tools like Sharepoint and Skype for Business, and to improve productivity further, Nous accelerated its planned rollout of Microsoft Teams. When we flicked the switch to remote working in March, all staff could continue working with minimal disruption.
  • Leadership. We knew this was a stressful time given disruptions to work and home. Our leaders, including Managing Director and Head of People, communicated frequently and openly with all staff. This included updates every few days on the MD’s internal blog and a fortnightly all-staff video meeting hosted by the MD from his home office. At these meetings, the MD gave updates on business performance, internal changes and lessons from his experience, and took unlimited questions from staff and answered them frankly.
  • Care and connection. At Nous we encourage people to form meaningful connections with their colleagues. To continue this amid remote working, we made it easy for staff to connect remotely through productive activity. When clients postponed projects, we used the spare capacity to accelerate strategic initiatives. Performance Coaches checked in regularly with the people they coach, teams established weekly social catchup video calls, and people shared their experiences via Workplace, our social networking platform. These efforts showed the Nous culture at its finest.

Nous is proud of the fact we did not have a single redundancy due to the pandemic.

Nous has previously been named Best Management Consulting Firm by the Australian Financial Review in 2017, 2015 and 2013 and a Great Place to Work in 2019, 2017, 2015 and 2013 (Australia) and in 2018 and 2016 (Asia).