How a global pandemic changed the way we work
The past few months have been demanding, forcing every business, company and individual to examine and reevaluate how they go about their day-to-day lives. The global pandemic has also been a catalyst for large-scale innovation and transformation.
At finleap connect, we would like to take a moment to reflect on our journey thus far, and look back on how our “connectors” dealt with the challenges they faced along the way. We’ve interviewed several of our connectors about their experiences over the past few months, what they learned from having to launch a product during lockdown, and what they’ve learned going forward.
The balance between self and others
Back in May of this year, we announced that the prosperity company AG expanded its range of products to include banking services, by using our Digital Bank product. This was certainly great news for finleap connect! But this also meant that the team behind our Digital Bank product was in a critical phase of the product cycle during the height of lockdown. Stephan Bönnemann-Walenta, Engineering Manager, says that having to work from home during this time actually had its benefits.
Remote working allowed the team to focus on finalizing their product; a white label digital banking app ready for potential customers. Whilst the process was not without its challenges, the team had quickly established working practices and processes to support autonomous work. Within a socially distanced world, one learning our team is taking forward is how to strike a balance between being self-reliant, while also relying on one another as a team. Navigating this new dynamic is, of course, still a work in progress but the team is not afraid of challenges. With their hard work paying off, the team look forward to figuring out how to host a socially distanced launch party.
Becoming more efficient in an uncertain world
This same sentiment is shared by the Governance & Risk (G&R) team, who previously worked cross location and were no stranger to autonomous working due to much work being heavily document focused. The crisis has challenged the status quo for how they operate. Utilizing more frequent meetings than before plus new tools such as Asana and kanban boards have sought to increase transparency for their internal service function and cohesion but most importantly efficiency. This is certainly reflected in G&R’s upcoming projects whereby they are working on creating an even smoother customer friendly onboarding process. “As we increase our customer base, this will allow us to scale in an efficient manner,” says Francis McGillicuddy, Information Security Officer. From an internal perspective, working closely with the General Managers to update Organization Manual documentation will establish new quality for standardization.
Benefiting also from the quieter period, the Customer Service team saw a reduction in tickets. With additional capacity, the team were able to focus on longer term goals such as sharing knowledge amongst the team, allowing them to work cross functionally across all of finleap connect’s products. Even working in a highly communicative arena, there are still lessons to be learned. “We learned to communicate better, discuss and to share knowledge,” says Ivan Gilli, Lead Customer Service Manager. We are all guilty of being so busy in completing our daily tasks and forget to stop to see where we can add real value. Not missing this opportunity helped the team lay the foundation for scaling up and ensuring continuity and quality across the team.
The increase in time due to no more commutes or lengthy meetings has now been replaced with new situations which we were not previously faced with. This is an understatement for the People & Organization (P&O) team. Working on supporting employee needs and wellbeing during stressful times on the one hand, and managing the company’s bi-annual employee development talks all within a crisis, on the other, has seen P&O flex their muscles and deliver. When asked how the team dealt with unexpected projects in an uncertain, rapidly changing climate, HR Manager Selma Halak says, “always try to be proactive in a reactive world”.
Interestingly, the Corona crisis brought other projects to the forefront. Tackling issues such as mental health and employee experience saw the launch of initiatives such as coaching sessions, meditation and virtual yoga – all of which became vital in supporting colleagues at work. Employee happiness and wellbeing has never been so important to a company’s success. Looking towards the future, P&O are now working on revolutionizing the employee onboarding experience. Given that distance has evoked new challenges for finleap connect, P&O’s focus is now to redefine company culture and processes to ensure we remain a successful and attractive company in its field.
The unchartered waters of COVID-19 raises a new sense of unpredictability for all. What we have learned is not to simply weather the storm, but actively evaluate ourselves, utilizing these challenges as opportunities to push boundaries, diversify and evolve for the future whatever it may bring.
Special thanks to Selma Halak, Stephan Bönnemann-Walenta, Francis McGillicuddy and Ivan Gilli for speaking with us about their experiences!
A warm welcome to our newest Italian market team members in Milan! They joined us with deep SME knowledge and will further develop our banking solutions for SMEs. As announced today, the SME business banking platform Penta decided to close its business operations in Italy to focus on their core market in Germany. finleap connect will take over the great team.
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