On my flight back to Frankfurt, I was reading an article on how to lead and adapt through a crisis. It was clear to me that to involve our people in our decision-making with open communication was the way to go. After aligning with the leadership team, I took the lead in communicating to all TIS employees already on 3rd of March about the situation.
To be honest, like many others, I first underestimated COVID-19. At the end of February 2020, I was on a business trip to visit the Sofia office. Almost nobody was a wearing mask or keeping any distance. It never occurred to me that this would soon become a regular part of our (work) lives. When a colleague expressed to me his concern to join our March Onboarding Campus for new hires, I finally realized that this virus was something bigger than I thought. It got me thinking about how this crisis could affect our people, both in Europe and in the US.
On my flight back to Frankfurt, I was reading an article on how to lead and adapt through a crisis. It was clear to me that to involve our people in our decision-making with open communication was the way to go. After aligning with the leadership team, I took the lead in communicating to all TIS employees already on 3rd of March about the situation. On 13th of March, TIS announced ‘Working from Home’ policy for all global locations. HR team set up communication channels for regular updates and the leadership team used Virtual Coffee Corner sessions to answer all questions anybody may have. As Head of HR, I made myself available for everybody for any concern they may have or any support they may need for working from home.
Feedback is an integral part of communication. Therefore, we conducted regular pulse surveys to better understand the needs of our employees in different locations. From the first survey, we learned that home office set-up posed a challenge for many colleagues. We quickly decided to offer a tax-free “Gear Your Home Office Up Allowance”. We were also aware that feeling socially isolated was impacting our people. To motivate the team to stay physically active and virtually connected, we started a planking challenge. What was first a one-time thing, soon became a popular activity. Together with professional instructors from a German insurance company, we are now offering a Virtual Activity Break every Monday, where people can easily jump in for some quick exercise.
"From the first survey, we learned that home office set-up posed a challenge for many colleagues"
The pandemic also did not get in the way of our hiring plans. We proactively communicated to all candidates that we would change to remote hiring and provide video and audio support of their preference. In 2020, we hired 56 new people in total, an impressive 26% year-on-year growth. We designed a remote employee onboarding experience to help our new hires get started in the teams. For example, the 2-day Virtual TIS Onboarding Campus has received positive feedback from all our new hires. The tailor-made content helped them get in touch with key stakeholders and come to know TIS culture, processes and departments.
"In 2020, we hired 56 new people in total, an impressive 26% year-on-year growth"
My personal highlight of 2020 was our Global Virtual Christmas Dinner in December. With step-by-step instructions of a professional chef from a local cooking academy, people joined from home kitchen via ZOOM and prepared a 3-course menu dinner, and more importantly, enjoyed the dinner virtually together, from Europe and the US. In times of a crisis, small things matter.
Now that the year 2021 has started with good news on vaccination, we do hope that we can meet in person again soon enough, because “people miss people the most” as one of my colleagues said. In-person contact means a lot for our happiness and well-being. In the meantime, our world is no longer the same. Together with my team and the leadership team, my priority is to design forward-looking flexible working arrangements for everyone at TIS.
This article was written by Stefan Berndt, Head of HR at TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions).
TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH), founded in Walldorf, Germany in 2010, is a global leader in managing corporate payments. The Financial Times named TIS as one of “Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies” for 2019 and 2020. Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the TIS solution is a comprehensive, highly-scalable, cloud platform for company-wide payments and cash management. The TIS solution has been successfully used for many years in both large and medium-sized companies, including Adecco Group, Hugo Boss, Fresenius, Fugro, Lanxess, OSRAM and QIAGEN. More than 25% of DAX companies are already TIS customers.
In the fifth episode of our new podcast “Voices In Payments” our host, Diederik Klopper discusses The Future of Human Resources (HR) in Payments with Stefan Berndt, Head of HR at TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions)
Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the TIS solution is a comprehensive, highly-scalable, cloud platform for company-wide payments and cash management. For businesses, TIS creates a community of trust and empowers customers to make better decisions with 100% real-time cashflow visibility. The Financial Times named TIS as one of "Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies" for 2019 and 2020.
Listen to this Voices In Payments Podcast Episode to find out:
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