Approach centred on listening, in the search for a solution adapted to the client not to the requirements of a collection company, I was also reassured by the follow-up of my payment, the possible postponements of deadlines.
We continue to invest in our people with the creation of a digital learning library, providing a self-service option for employees to access learning tools and company-wide programmes.
We have also invested in a new digital HR system, Youniverse, allowing the interactive management of our people and will give managers access to people management data in real time. Our first priority in the deployment of the system has been to digitalise our employee appraisal process (PDD) to ensure we have consistent employee and manager discussions so everyone is clear about what needs to be delivered, career paths are developed and we design our learning development offering to deliver this. In 2020 we have had greater focus on career paths and continued running programmes to develop our future managers.
I seized the opportunity to move to Bucharest to help create our new site. I saw it as an opportunity to discover a new culture, a new language, to broaden my horizons.
This has also led to Hoist Finance implementing informal processes that support a wide variety of secondments, mentoring and development opportunities, bringing together our top talent on a variety of strategically important programmes; proving that long and short term assignments are important to increase knowledge sharing and collaboration. To support this work, Hoist Finance implemented LEAN workshops for the top 100 senior leaders encouraging innovation, personal ownership and collaboration. In our engagement survey we ask if the employees feel they are offered training or development to further themselves professionally and we have seen a strong increase of the result with 9%.
Hoist Finance has continued to implement a variety of change programmes across its markets to deliver cost efficiencies and remove reporting hierarchies so business decisions are made quickly and without duplication. Hoist Finance has redesigned many of its administrative workflows resulting in a significant people reduction within our local support functions and operational areas, whilst at the same time growing its Shared Service Centre in Poland and Nearshoring Centre in Romania by 70 per cent.
Despite delivering these change programmes remotely, Hoist Finance has worked hard to ensure we treat people fairly and with respect – the cornerstone of what it means to work at Hoist Finance. As we restructured, affected employees are provided with digital career development workshops, remote welfare calls and support in finding other employment.
Hoist Finance has also invested in growing its knowledge in different asset classes, retail banking and the digital arena through targetted recruitment campaigns delivered during 2020, as well as digital strategies to onboard new recruits. Redesigning our recruitment processes and tools with a digitial focus has allowed us to continue to attract top talent during a year of lockdowns and working remotely. We have built up additional knowlege in Business Development, Retail Banking, Secured Assets, Risk, and Compliance areas, offering Hoist Finance employees new career opportunities in the banking sector. We have recruited and trained Contact Centre teams, as well as enhanced our digital skill capability. Our digital team has enabled us to push forward with variety of innovations with digital collections increasing by 25 per cent and customers stating that our accessible and straightforward approach is helping them to tackle their debt effectively.
Employee health and well being
Health and safety is always a priority at Hoist Finance and this year has been about ensuring our employees work in Covid secure work environments. Offices were closed or the numbers of people working on our sites were severely restricted. Most of our employees were set up to work from home with digital training to ensure safety was a priority in their home environments too.
Hoist Finance has continued to find ways to support employees, at a time when employee health and well-being is of ever so high importance. Counselling services are provided to our employees and throughout 2020, Hoist Finance has delivered various programmes to support employee’s physical health as well as social events to encourage camaraderie and team spirit on a remote basis. We have created a workplace where employees feel supported and secure in the knowledge that we remain by their side. In our latest GPTW survey 76% responded positively in the wellbeing category and as many as 91% feel that we are offering a safe workplace.
Hoist Finance has also worked hard to deliver an engagement and feedback culture, implementing a variety of survey tools and team events, including monthly ‘temperature’ checks, workshops and Town Halls. In addition we have held several remote Leadership Conferences to ensure our people continue to have a voice that is listened to and so we can respond effectively to what they think.
Compassion for our customers has allowed employees to see how the work they do can make a postive difference to our customers lives. Hoist Finance’s approach to community engagement gives priority to initiatives with a clear link to company values and our expertise. We have continued to forge partnerships with diverse institutions to deliver locally driven programmes to promote financial inclusion within local communities.
A competition was launched called Challengize, encouraging all employees to improve their physical fitness, whilst at the same time raising money to work in partnership with a key stakeholder, ONSbank, to help young people with bad debt get their lives back on track. With the strong participation across all our officies we managed to achieve a high engagement resulting in a commitment to help three youngsters to access ONSbank's programme for youth between 18-27 years old. We plan to expand this programme so that everyone working at Hoist Finance comes to work in the knowledge that they will make a postive impact on people’s lives and the communities around them. We believe that enabling our people to play an active part in helping our customers keep their commitments strengthens our employees well-being.
Diversity and equal opportunity
The fundamental belief of Hoist Finance is that everyone has equal value and a right to equal treatment, with the same employment conditions, skills development and promotion that underpins all its management practices. Pay is based on industry, local market and collective agreements and is reviewed annually. We actively seek to recruit a diverse workforce to match our varied customer base and we are proud that our Great Place to Work annual survey continues to receive the highest rating on diversity where four out of five statements have moved up between one and five per cent.
To ensure we do not lose focus on the issue of diversity, Hoist Finance has launched a new Diversity Forum, with representatives from every part of the business. Earlier this year we introduced a new method for tracking and reporting on gender equality. The overall gender balance across all employees at December 31, 2020 was 62 per cent female and 38 per cent male, with a high proportion of operational employees being female, in line with industry norms.
Women in senior leadership at Hoist Finance is 16 per cent, so there remains more work to do in this area. This year we have taken steps to improve female representation at senior levels by attracting more female candidates to such roles. As a result, we have been able to appoint the best person for advertised senior roles, which has included the appointment of more females to certain executive and senior leadership roles.
Great Place to Work®
A collaboration with the company "Great Place to Work" was initiated in 2016 to measure the development of corporate culture and work environment over time. Great Place to Work conducts one of the world’s largest employee surveys and ranking programmes, as well as provides tools to support and prioritise development areas. An employee survey that measures TRUST is a key tool, providing information about employee perceptions and experiences of the company. The survey also measures how far Hoist Finance has come in implementing company values.
The result for 2020 was an index of 77 per cent (68), an impressive 9 per cent increase from 2019. There was also a 12 per cent increase in number of employees saying that Hoist Finance is a great place to work. Sweden and Italy both received Great Place to Work certification in 2020. This gives Hoist Finance a high rank in comparison with companies of similar size in each market.
Our three key objectives for 2020 were to improve Internal Communications, to Develop our People and Improve Management Skills. Harmonised follow-up plans was implemented in 2020 to further improve the results.
We have empowered our employees to report observations of behaviour considered to be unethical or illegal. Hoist Finance has implemented a whistleblowing procedure through which employees can openly or anonymously notify the company of wrongdoings in the business. Cases of discrimination or other misconduct are encouraged to be reported through our whistleblowing system, which is an anonymous, web-based solution.
All concerns raised will be treated with strict confidence and the identity of the employee raising the concern is never disclosed without his or her prior consent. Anyone raising a concern will be treated fairly and Hoist Finance will do everything it can to ensure that he or she is not penalised or victimised in any way.
To continuously raise awareness of employees' responsibility in this area,
e-learning courses on the whistleblowing procedures are in place. Less than 3 cases were reported through the whistleblower procedure in 2020.