Three ways to keep community in lockdown11/08/2020
By Chris White, Director at Sparta Global
Sparta Global is powered by its people. Our passionate and hardworking trainees, Spartans, trainers, head office and Academy staff are the reason we continue to grow year-on-year. This is because we have built a community that encourages creativity, supports differences and rewards hard work with career progression. When Covid-19 forced our community to isolate and work apart, we wanted to make sure the sense of togetherness that drives our business forward, wouldn’t be lost.
- Lead from the front
The most important way to keep a community connected is through communication. This doesn’t just mean giving your teams the tools to speak and work efficiently (by making sure technology like Microsoft Teams is properly enabled) but by ensuring your community is informed – receiving regular and concise information from leadership. When our teams were sent to work from home, our management team quickly accepted the new normal and pivoted its management approach. We initiated regular management meetings to keep all departments connected, we rolled out company-wide fortnightly updates and built an online community channel for immediate communication.
- Give people a platform
Our community has thrived because we ensure our people have no barriers when it comes to connecting with one another. This is one of the main reasons why we opened our new London Head Office in 2019 – to house our London training Academy and Head office in the same space and improve collaboration. This is something we needed to replicate in lockdown. We set up our community channel on teams and encouraged anyone and everyone to share resources, good news and ask for help or advice. We ran hour-long HR and technical sessions each day to ensure there was a time when our Spartans, trainees or alumni could get learning or pastoral support. In addition to this we ran fortnightly tech talks with industry guest speakers and online quizzes to give our people ample opportunity to be seen and heard.
- Trust and prioritise your people
Covid-19 put businesses like us in an extraordinary situation. We did not know how long our teams would need to be away from the office, how long our Academy programmes would be run virtually and how many of our clients would be negatively impacted by the pandemic. It would have been easy for us to fall into the trap of pushing our people to work longer and harder to displace this, but trust is a huge part of building and sustaining a community culture. We trusted our people to do their job and work hard to support our business during this testing period. Instead we encouraged people to look after themselves, work flexible hours, take regular breaks, enjoy the sunshine and make sure that their mental health was as much a priority as logging into work.
As our community starts to transition back to the office and away from the online platforms and support channels we introduced during lockdown, I am certain we will come back to the workplace stronger and more connected. Sharing the experiences we have over the last five months has given our Spartan community the chance to re-evaluate the role we all play in our business and the wider technology industry. As Sparta Global continues to grow, we hope to share our story of community with more businesses in the UK IT industry and see all emerging talent reap the rewards of a collaborative and connected workforce.
If you want to see how we adapted our services during lockdown – click here.