Fun at work crucial to employee connection says Symbio Holdings people experience chief

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While the pandemic has impacted almost all facets of life as we know it, employees still have the same pre-pandemic needs, and depend on support from their leaders.

Digital Nation Australia spoke to Cathy Doyle, chief people experience officer at Symbio Holdings about the business’ focus on fostering a culture of empathy and fun in a hybrid working world.

“There's been a bit of what I call a pandemic fatigue. So different leaders cope with it differently. Some decided to check in with their people every day and it just got hard for them. So we've had to do a lot of leadership support,” said Doyle.

Symbio Holdings invested in programs to generate connectivity between teams by bringing some of the pre-Covid office-based activities online.

Doyle highlights the Women at Symbio group and public speaking group Toastmasters as two examples of employees coming together online through shared interests.

“Before we’d do Toastmasters in the office, we'd have the CEO wanting to do a competition with one of the staff and people come in and you'd have the afternoon teas and Friday night drinks and all that kind of fun stuff,” said Doyle.

“We've really focused on our internal and we've just switched things to online where we can.”

Symbio’s All Stars program recognises high performers in the business, and according to Doyle, it is unique in the market. Individuals are nominated by their managers and then voted by their peers, as stand-outs for living the values of the organisation.

“They come as a group together and take a very serious role of assessing future All Stars. And they’re talking about skills that we need for the organisation for the future, what's working and where, where we've got gaps and the help drive the next generation of talent at the group.”

According to Doyle, in order to maintain connection with employees in the new world, technology is key.

“You need to have the virtual platforms and the structure to support the hybrid model and the new way of working.”

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