In the next in our series of Covid-19 interviews with Senior HR Leaders which has been sponsored by Appian – our Founder & Managing Director, Peter Banks, talks directly to Danielle Harmer, Chief People Officer, Aviva Plc –an international Savings, Retirement and Insurance business with over 30,000 employees serving 33.4 million customers and has been taking care of people for more than 300 years.
Aviva is deeply invested in their people, their customers, their communities and the planet.
As we move towards the festive season, Danny shares Aviva’s journey to date and how they have enabled 30,000+ employees to work remotely rapidly, but now are looking at the future of the office from the learning to date. Business travel has also been on the radar, as Danny shares ‘we all knew it wasn’t as glamorous as we thought it was, but we now know its not as necessary as we thought it was too.’ On remote working, we learn how Danny feels that this has been about changing people’s mindsets on where the work can be done and choosing the best location for the best outcome. Technology has been a huge enabler, but Danny is concerned for the future that we won’t be having those regular water cooler moment conversations, which are key to learning and that there could be an overload as we go from one virtual call to the next. She makes the very valid point that we cannot sprint all of the time.
Peter Banks, Founder & Managing Director of theHRDIRECTOR commented: “Danny is like many of us through this pandemic, initially dealing with the need to keep their people and the business working safely and productively, but learning from the forced changes which is bringing new insight. But she also warns of the elements we are losing right now and how important it will be to find the right blended approach for the future. I really liked her comment ‘I get my energy from the fact that we are doing some terrific work which is making a difference, we are making progress and creating positive impact,’ – so again we see ‘purpose’ which is one positive that is coming out of this challenging time loud and clear from organisations.
Watch the next in the series now as we look to uncover a rich source of ideas, insight, strategies and new working practices to continue to guide us through this. Just what have we learnt from this global pandemic and what will ‘the new better’ look like?