Alexander Hall: The pandemic has changed the DNA of the workplace as we know it

A workforce of happy people, who are empowered to do their roles to the best of their ability is sign of a healthy workplace culture, according to two senior business leaders.

Dom Scott and Tom Davies from Alexander Hall believe the key to success is having a collective mind set which determines the behaviours within the business.

Dom explained: “The behaviours determine the actions, and the actions determine the outcomes. As a manager you can either manage the actions at the end of the chain, or manage the mind set at the top of the chain, which is what we do at Alexander Hall to prevent issues and promotes the desired behaviours and outcomes.

The comments were made in an interview recorded for the Accord Mortgages Growth Series podcast. Entitled Creating a healthy workplace culture the episode explores how businesses of all sizes can support their employees to develop a committed, loyal and engaged workforce.

When asked about initiatives Alexander Hall has implemented to foster a healthy workplace culture, Tom Davies was quick to clarify. “Initiatives suggest it’s something you do and then forget about. For me, it’s more of a constant endeavour.”

For Alexander Hall, the business is built around three core values; hard work; integrity; and collaboration.

Tom added: “Hard work is not just about putting in hours, it’s about understanding what it is you’re setting out to achieve. Integrity is about doing the right thing and collaboration is about us being greater than the sum of our parts.”

The leadership team also talked candidly about the challenges of a remote workforce and said that they have focused on understanding individual set ups and safeguarding employee wellbeing, whilst maintaining a good level of service to clients.

Dom commented: “The initial revelation of home working in the first phase of the lockdown has been tempered somewhat by people missing their colleagues, missing the banter of the office and realising that going to work plays a big part in their identity.”

Tom said that communications has been vital in supporting the culture with regular calls, training sessions and panel debates with external speakers. He added: “Whilst people are working from their kitchen counter, it’s important they feel part of an organisation, part of something bigger."

Diversity and Inclusion was also discussed and both Dom and Tom spoke passionately about creating a workplace which reflects the environment they operate in. Through its Inspire50, Afro Foxtons and Foxtons LGBTQ+ networks, it has been able to provide space for under-represented groups to come together, support each other and develop.

Dom said: “Inclusion and diversity doesn’t solve racism, or homophobia, but it promotes workplaces which better reflect the eclectic society that we live in. We are moving the dial of diversity in the right direction but know we still have work to do.”

Nicola Alvarez, Corporate Account Manager – Proposition Development at Accord Mortgages who hosted the podcast commented:

Going to work is more than just doing a job. It’s about the people you work with, the environment you are in, and feeling respected, valued, supported and motivated on a daily basis.

The leadership team at Alexander Hall is clearly driven by creating and nurturing opportunities for its team and many of its fundamental principles are powered by common sense and treating people the way you yourself would like to be treated. It was reassuring to hear that you don’t need to spend lots of money, it’s more about investing time and energy into your people. When things are busy, or a global pandemic hits, it can be easy to neglect these areas but as the majority of office-based workers are now based at home, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a successful culture which isn’t confined to the office.

To listen to the podcast please click here.

Brokers can sign up to receive the Growth Series material for free here.