BITC Education Symposium

  03 OCTOBER, 2018      INDUSTRY INSIGHTS , CSR , CORE VALUES
Sophie Seddon sat on sofa

Our Head of Client Engagement & Communication, Sophie Seddon discloses her top tips for businesses and schools to work together successfully.

“I was invited to speak at the Education Symposium hosted by Goldman Sachs on Wednesday 26th September.  This was organised by Business in The Community to encourage and advise other schools and businesses to partner as the benefits are outstanding.”

The History of Novus’ Partnership with BITC

5 years ago, we were approached by BITC and The Business Class to partner with a school in Stoke–on-Trent who were going into special measures.  With no hesitation we agreed to work with them to help them through a very difficult time.  We saw an opportunity to get closer to the community we work in, but more importantly we identified an opportunity to work with potential future employees.

After 5 years of working with Thistley Hough we have carried out over 100 projects including CV workshops, mentoring, a scholarship programme, donated bespoke school books, built allotments, created a school bank and set up a bank account for every child, and the list goes on.  You can read more about our partnership here.

Top Tips for Sustainable Relationships between Schools and Businesses

After a very successful partnership these are my top tips for schools and businesses to create a sustainable relationship that really works:

  • Set clear, simple objectives that are easy for everyone to understand including the pupils, parents, teachers and employees.
  • Empower employees to design and own projects and give them the authority to see them through.
  • Be open and honest.  If something isn’t working speak up and move on.
  • Innovate.  Create innovative projects that are interesting for everyone to be involved in.
  • Don’t make excuses!  We are all very busy people and have our day jobs but take accountability and get the job done!
  • Have fun!  It has been a fantastic 5 years for us all and we have had so much fun along the way, so enjoy it!
SEARCH
RECENT POSTS
a helping hand from novus

OFFERING A ‘HELPING HAND’ TO COLLEAGUES DURING LOCKDOWNS

As the construction sector remains open, Novus have been working through the latest lockdown. For those colleagues working from home at the moment, the importance of keeping morale high and maintaining the feeling of community cannot be overstated. In this article, we would like to share some of the initiatives that Novus have introduced to offer a ‘Helping Hand’ to colleagues during periods of lockdown this year. Before the virus Although working remotely has become the new normal amongst office workers in the UK and indeed our own business service departments, feelings of loneliness can be associated with this way of working. It is understandable, in a pre-covid world, it was estimated that people spent around 10 years of their life at work - in the office. During that time, it is only natural that strong working relationships and indeed friendships are formed and maintained by regular face-to-face contact. This daily face-to-face social interaction unquestionably aids in building the strong team that underpins organisational culture. And by extension, one could make the argument that the same strength simply cannot be achieved remotely, negatively affecting the culture within the business as a consequence. Smells like team spirit With this in mind, the first lockdown in March 2020 posed the challenge of maintaining the team spirit remotely, as one of our key values at Novus is to “create great teams.” It was quickly identified that this was a crucial area for support during lockdown, making sure our people still feel part of a team was a priority. A Helping Hand from Novus Regular communication is key and to that end, every week our communications team issue an internal newsletter called the “Helping Hand” to all colleagues in Novus. This weekly emailer features a wealth of helpful articles, videos, and tips, and company updates designed at helping everyone in the Novus community survive and thrive during lockdown. Under the categories A Time to Talk, A Time to Learn, A Time to Celebrate, A Time to Share, and A Time to Have Fun, colleagues will find help on improving physical wellbeing and mental health, strategies to manage finances, and even activities to try with the kids during half term. Originally introduced during the March lockdown, the Helping Hand was well received and experienced a high level of engagement. As such, the newsletter has been revived for the latest second lockdown. Finger on the pulse Our way of asking the people within Novus, “How are you doing?” In essence keeping our ‘finger on the pulse’ of the business. It is well established that feedback from colleagues is really important, after all they are the life blood of any organisation. In this time of change and flux, it feels like the perfect time to ask the people within the Novus community how the business can change to make working life better. That’s why we release a Pulse survey on a quarterly basis, as we believe that all colleagues should have something valuable to contribute and their voices and opinions should be heard. We’ve asked colleagues a whole host of questions this year - their opinions on remote working, what they’ve been up to during lockdown, their goals and aspirations, their concerns, and if there are any training requirements (to name just a few). Saying thanks and being visible Our CEO Alan Nixon and senior management team have remained visible over the course of 2020, providing video updates to the business and giving thanks for the hard work of colleagues. As with a lot of communications at Novus, we believe that putting a face/name/real person to a message really helps ground a piece of communication in reality and adds credibility. Additionally, in the absence of face-to-face contact, this is the next best thing to being spoken to directly. The current situation has encouraged our management team to innovate and adopt a more digital approach in daily activities. An example of this is found in our Head of Operations Charlie Cooley (Scotland and North East) who provides a weekly video update to his team via YouTube – giving that visible and personal touch to his leadership. Highlighting success and positive news The compliments and positive feedback that Novus receive from customers and tenants really are a testament to the hard work, dedication, and care that Novus colleagues put into their work on a daily basis. Particularly in 2020, we have increased the frequency of posting compliments via our social media channels as it gives everyone within Novus a lift, demonstrating and celebrating the high standard of service that our colleagues are providing – at the same time, this serves as another avenue of recognition for our hard working people.

INFORMATION ABOUT HOW WE USE COOKIES

We use cookies to make our site work. A cookie is a small file that we put on your device. These cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of our website, which helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and allows us to improve our site.
OUR COOKIES
Necessary Cookies
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
Analytical Cookies
Analytical Cookies help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information about how visitors use our site. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example by ensuring that users are easily finding what they are looking.
Read more about the individual cookies we use, their duration and how to recognise them in our Cookie Policy.