How Class is supporting its people

April 16, 2020

Transitioning a business to operate in the current, topsy-turvy market conditions has required a wide range of initiatives. Through it all, ensuring the wellbeing of staff remains our top priority.

As the world began to shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Class implemented a number of measures to ensure business continuity. These actions focused on the support of our staff and in turn, our customers.

Class is going through an exciting transformation – our much-discussed Reimagination strategy. We are growing and developing the business to allow us to launch new products, enter new markets, and build towards becoming one of the most trusted Australian technology partners.

In striving for this, we know our staff are our most valuable asset. We want them to be our biggest advocates and help us attract the best new talent. Most importantly, we want them to stay because they love working as part of the Class team.

Our culture is key

Over the past year, we have worked continuously to build a culture and way of working that creates a sense of positivity and purpose. The success we have achieved so far was reflected in our most recent Pulse Check survey of staff, in which we saw continuing improvements across the board. These included a jump from -2.2 to +32 in our eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score), indicating our staff are more engaged with their work than ever. Our attrition rate is in decline, our engagement is up, and we have improved diversity across the business.

Our staff feel supported, heard, and part of a team achieving big things. Maintaining this sense of team as we work through the pandemic is critical.

First steps in reimagining the way we work

Class made the decision to send all staff home to work remotely from March 23, to ensure their safety and wellbeing. We had been building a business continuity plan for a long time to prepare for any forced dispersion of our teams, and as such, began remote working tests. Therefore, we were able to implement our plan quickly and shift the entire workforce out of the Sydney CBD. Once the team was working remotely, we needed to find ways to keep them positive as they worked on blending into a home setup.

They know what’s going on

With so much uncertainty around many things today, it is important that staff know what is happening with the business. We know job security is key, as entire industries have shut down and tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs. Class CEO Andrew Russell set up a dedicated Slack channel that gives the entire team direct access to him. He also records a staff video every other day to keep the team informed as to how the business is tracking, and to share initiatives that are under way, and even finds ways to make the team smile and laugh. This allows the team to have confidence that the business remains on track with its objectives while it is adapting to the current environment.

We provide for staff wellbeing

Class implemented support services for our teams that are specifically designed to help them maintain and improve their wellbeing. We have set up a Wellbeing@Class space, where staff can access tips and tools to keep them healthy, happy and engaged at home. Class also recently ran an online seminars with internationally accredited Chelsea Pottenger, an expert in mental health and mindfulness.

Class has EAP (Employee Assistance Program) ambassadors and staff are encouraged to reach out to them at any time for additional support.

We facilitate connection

It is also important for our people to feel connected to our business while they work from home, so we look for ways to interact with them physically. This has included sending out gifts to show our appreciation. For Easter, we sent out ingredients for hot cross buns so they could bake them from scratch with their families. Class has also reimagined our recognition program across our teams to say thank you, each week, with Uber Eats vouchers (as a nice treat!).

In addition, many teams hold morning stand up zoom meetings to check in with each other. Another dedicated slack channel allows staff to provide their experiences and tips for work for remote working. Company-wide meetings are still held on zoom and interactive activities are organised to ensure staff feel connected.

We check in

One thing that remains critical through this time is feedback from our staff, to let us know how we’re performing for them as an employer of choice and where we can improve. We regularly check-in so staff can provide us the feedback we need to provide additional support. This allows each staff member to provide insights into the challenges they are facing. We can then find ways to help them maintain their wellbeing.

We are always learning

Nobody has the answers to the questions being asked of us today, but we can focus on making sure we all feel safe and supported as we work through these times. By implementing the changes outlined above, we have focused on making sure each and every employee knows we are there to help where we can, and that we understand that these are testing times. As we find ways to return to normalcy, it is important that our staff feel like we never left their side.

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