Hicksons’ response to the pandemic is as a result of decisive leadership, strong infrastructure and a collaborative culture
The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented crisis which has created uncertainty for many organisations and severely impacted numerous industries in Australia. Individuals and businesses have had to adapt to new ways of operating in order to comply with Government restrictions, while continuing to deliver on core business activities.
Hicksons Initial Response
With a focus on protecting our people and our clients, alternative methods of client service delivery and communications were established, along with tools and technology to enable remote working. Regular communications ensured our people were aware of the severity of the situation and the associated activities the firm took in response. The firm’s policies, processes and crisis plan assisted with the transition from normal business operations to critical essential functions maintaining our focus on client serviceability.
Managing Partner, Stewart Cameron notes
the firm was able to maintain its business operations, with minimal disruptions due to its decision-making, smart business operating model and its collaborative culture.
The Rapid Move to Agile, Remote Working
The firm adopted virtual contact for our clients and our teams committed to stay connected to each other. Our teams have safe, flexible ‘remote-working’ environments, assisted by our support infrastructure. Learning continued through on-line training and webinars, including the importance of health and ergonomics in remote workspaces.
Chief Operating Officer Colleen Weiler explained that "we had clear plans in place to shift to agile, remote working in the event of a crisis, ensuring all of our Partners and staff were supported, stayed connected to each other and were able to continue to provide support to our clients."
Communication and Engagement Strategies
Consistent with the firm’s culture, while navigating through the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and remote working, the firm engrained the importance of regular communication to maintain productivity, increase collaboration and support one another. Business bulletins were released to ensure our people were well-informed of restrictions, the potential impact on individuals, their families and within their communities. The firm continued its focus on engagement through regular, virtual contact with our teams and with individuals.
Impacts on Business Operations
The business adopted a phased strategy to monitor and review the impacts, enabling it to take a considered response to key business decisions. We are proud that our business as usual activities continued; our key focus remains on leading the business strategically and effectively through turbulent and challenging times.
Return to the Office
The firm created a Work@Work Program to enable a phased and flexible return to the office for our people. Committed to the health and safety of our people, we anticipate flexible working will remain, with a continued, stringent focus on client serviceability and satisfaction.
Chief Operating Officer, Colleen Weiler, explained that "we have worked closely with each team to identify any risk factors and to enable flexible patterns of work, which consider family responsibilities and business need."
The business will continue to adopt a flexible and fluid approach to maximise client serviceability.
Stewart Cameron commented that "work-life balance is crucial to the success of our business and is an important element of the firm’s well-being strategy. We will be working with our people to ensure they are supported during this transition phase and continue to evaluate their needs in relation to agile working moving forward".
This crisis has driven innovation and the firm’s investment in new technologies to further improve our services and systems. The firm continues to develop efficient initiatives to add value to its clients and to its business model. Innovation is at the forefront of our thinking and we leverage from our people to create unique solutions for our clients.
The business acknowledges the continued effort, commitment and trust of our people and our clients.
Post by Stewart Cameron, Managing Partner and Colleen Weiler, Chief Operating Officer.