5 min read

How we handled HR hyper-growth in 2019

Anisa Aksar

What does it take for a company to grow? Flexible, adaptive people support. Our Senior HR Business Partner Anisa Aksar tells us how 11:FS thinks about HR hypergrowth.

In my experience, everyone has a different definition of HR. Talk to someone at a large company and they may tell you it’s all about hiring and firing; ask someone at a new start-up and they could say it’s inessential.

That’s not how I see it, though. HR is actually the value add: it’s the department that supports people so they can do their best work. When HR succeeds, employees benefit; when employees benefit, their company excels.

In plain English, the goal of HR is to unleash talent

I’ve experienced this first hand since I started at 11:FS last February. Since then, I’ve worked on a host of new stuff: people policies, new employee benefits, company values, performance enablement, wellbeing, the list goes on.

Not bad considering we’ve been growing faster than an especially eggy souffle.

In plain English, the goal of HR is to unleash talent – which, coincidentally, is our mission here at 11:FS. That’s why it’s been so great to see the strides we’ve made in the last 12 months. Here are just a few of the things we’ve done.

Helping you with all of life’s changes

When I first arrived at 11:FS, many of our people policies were still statutory. We were doing what we needed, but we weren’t going any further. Since then, we’ve rolled out a host of new initiatives that go much further in addressing the needs of everyone who works for us.

Plenty of companies talk a big game about supporting their staff... but it feels great to actually be able to back it up with real action

Case in point: our maternity and paternity policy (also, our adoption policy, which mirrors this).

At this time last year, we still offered the statutory amount of maternity and paternity leave – not great for a company that prides itself on being ahead of the curve. We knew we weren’t living up to our ideals, so we put together a new policy proposal. Right away, our executive team hopped on board. The rest is history.

Today, our employees are entitled to six months of full-pay maternity leave and one month of full-pay paternity leave. Plenty of companies talk a big game about supporting their staff through thick and thin, but it feels great to actually be able to back it up with real action.

Finding your feet on day one

No onboarding process should begin and end with someone receiving their laptop and WiFi access on their first day.

For us, every new hire is a journey, and it begins the moment someone signs on with us.

That’s why we have Caitlin, our People Coordinator. She doesn’t wait till a new employee starts to welcome them into the fold. Instead, she starts pre-onboarding from the day the new hire receives an offer.

By introducing new staff members to informal buddies, inviting them to hang out before they begin work and holding new joiner sessions in their first weeks, Caitlin and our People and Talent team ensure every 11 starts their time with us on the right track.

Keeping you covered

Here on the 11:FS people team, we’ve coined our own personal mantra: “What do we want to achieve, and how can we make this the best place to work?” Not quite as catchy as “Don’t be evil,” but it serves us well.

When we ask ourselves those two little questions, an immediate answer springs to mind: private medical insurance.

[There are] things people need in every aspect of their lives, and we’re proud to be able to give them to our staff as a true benefit

Right now, we offer private medical care to all of our employees, medical history disregarded. There’s no catch; it’s a true benefit, not a carrot to be dangled and yanked away.

And we don’t stop there – we also cover the premiums for each of them. Staff can add family members at their own cost, and physiotherapy, dental and optical are also included.

These are all things people need in every aspect of their lives, and we’re proud to be able to give it to our staff as a true benefit.

Doing your best work, from anywhere

It shouldn’t be a big deal, but one of the most inspiring parts of my day is when I see managers and execs leaving hard on time to go pick up their children.

The message it sends is clear: childcare and life outside the company is a priority, and it doesn’t take away from working at 11:FS.

We’re committed to providing an adaptable environment that recognises every individual’s circumstances.

This idea goes hand-in-hand with our flexible working policy. Want to come in first thing in the morning so you can leave a little early and have more family time? Need to work from home once in a while to meet a deadline? No problem – we’re committed to providing an adaptable environment that recognises every individual’s circumstances.

Investing in your future

We’ve achieved a lot in the past year, but there’s still so much to be done in 2020. First up on our agenda: introducing our learning and development (L&D) program.

The idea is simple – we’ll roll out a suite of L&D programmes that will help take everyone to the next level in their careers. From offering constructive feedback to gaining leadership skills, these practices will help our people grow as effectively as the company they work for.

When you work in HR, creating that mutually sustaining culture is everything. Nail that and you’re set for success!

Want to know more about all of 11:FS’s amazing opportunities? Check out our careers page and see what we have to offer!

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