The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented time for many. Despite this, and that many businesses are struggling to get by, the fintech industry has proved itself to be particularly resilient this year, taking advantage of the opportunity to grow and prove itself as a vital sector. In light of this, The Fintech Power50 has conducted a survey of its members earlier in the year asking how their business was fairing during the pandemic to help support a community sentiment.
Global Processing Services (GPS) is the go-to payments processing partner for many of today’s most high-profile FinTech innovators and disruptors. Certified by Mastercard and Visa to process and manage any credit, debit or pre-paid card transaction globally, we offer scalable, secure global issuer processing capabilities. Here Annette Evans, Head of People, tells the Power50 about their 2020 experience.
What was the main challenge as a result of the pandemic for your company, and how did you work to overcome this?
The main challenge that became very obvious early on was that we needed to be able to operate remotely. In response, the first thing we did at the first sign of lockdown was to establish remote working processes and provide equipment to support our staff where necessary. We used the Microsoft Teams platform to share regular updates and set up an accessible intranet with a dedicated page for all Covid-19 related matters.
Now, thanks to all of our staff throwing themselves into these necessary changes, our processes work so seamlessly with all of our employees working from home that we’ve completely settled into this new way of doing things.
What measures have you put in place to ensure the safety of your staff?
We have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of the company’s 113-strong workforce across four locations, only furloughing a handful of employees, but I think everyone in the business has had to find and utilise a whole new skillset in response to such unprecedented challenges.
At the first hint of lockdown, we drove forward cross-department working groups, strategising daily and implementing necessary changes overnight. However, we realised that ensuring the safety of our staff during the pandemic didn’t just refer to their physical safety, but their mental health as well.
So, following the first six weeks of lockdown, and in line with government guidelines, an anonymous data mapping exercise was carried out, looking at the postcodes of employees to arrange park meetings in order to boost morale. Further to that, all staff were given an extra day’s annual leave and provided with a picnic hamper. The intranet page we set up also included ‘how to’ guides on financial issues and free phone counselling services – all staff had the opportunity to receive eight professional counselling / CBT sessions.
It’s testament to our effective strategising that our staff have remained safe and healthy, and the current way of working has fast become the preference.
What was your main focus when navigating through these uncertain times?
Our two main focusses were that GPS should be able to continue running and supporting our partners despite the pandemic, and that through it all our staff members should feel supported and safe.
It’s interesting to consider now, after several months of operating under these conditions, that the GPS workforce is just as close as it’s ever been, if not closer, and our partners have received continual exemplary service, despite some industry-wide issues. So, all in all, we’ve made it through perhaps the worst part of this crisis, and we’re better equipped for the future because of it.
What are your plans moving forward to ensure a successful operation as the pandemic continues?
While facing these challenges has taken an enormous amount of effort, throughout the past few months, we have carried out weekly pulse surveys to gain insight into staff welfare. These surveys revealed that 80% of our staff would like to work in the office for no more than 3 days per week, with the most popular being 2 days.
We implemented this in order to make sure that we continued to learn from, and listen to, our staff about how we can best support them, so that we can move forward as well-equipped as possible to face the challenges ahead. We consider supporting our staff to be paramount to the overall success of GPS, so we feel we’re in a strong position to ensure a successful operation no matter how long remote working remains necessary.
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