Navigating Covid-19

In navigating Covid-19 we made several strategic and operational changes, as well as providing increased support for Incrementalists and our clients. Many of these changes have had a positive, lasting impact on the business.

Operational change

On 11th March 2020 Incremental acted ahead of government advice and closed all offices, cancelled all face-to-face meetings and business travel to protect our employees, their families, our clients and ensure continuity of service. All employees became home-based workers overnight.

As a digital technology business, whilst the majority of our services can be delivered effectively to clients virtually, the team had to rethink project elements that would have previously been delivered in-person. A subset of the leadership team formed a Covid-19 working group and met twice weekly to discuss the wellbeing of Incrementalists, government strategy and return to work plans.

Adapting strategy

We immediately pivoted our go-to-market strategy and activity to focus on supporting existing clients to get up and running remotely and promoted relevant services around business continuity.

Incremental established an additional set of KPIs, covering everything from weekly marketing interactions to cash receipts, to provide an instant temperature check on business performance and a basis to quickly understand any Covid-19 impact and inform timely decision making.

Client support

Incremental helped numerous clients ensure business continuity during the lockdown period. Leading by example, our technology enabled all employees to work effectively from outside of the office long before Covid-19 struck – we also helped our clients to move quickly to remote and flexible working.  Incremental launched a Business Continuity Hub with resources to help organisations through Covid-19 and beyond.

Employee support

Immediately following our decision to close all offices we implemented a new weekly, group-wide meeting. Hosted by our executive team, this weekly meeting kept all Incrementalists informed of business performance, decision making and provided a Q&A forum to ensure everyone was kept updated.

A monthly survey was initiated where we established employee wellbeing and engagement levels, allowing us to monitor any changes on an ongoing basis. In addition to our regular mental health support services, an additional working group to support employee mental health through this time was established and continues to operate weekly drop-in sessions.

Lasting impact

As a result of our quick response to pivot business strategy, transform operations, engage and support both employees and clients, as well as an acceleration of the demand for digital technology services in the market, business performance has been strong throughout the pandemic. Employee engagement levels and retention have increased. Clients have rapidly adapted and accelerated the digitalisation of their organisations. Changes that we introduced during the pandemic have had a positive impact on our business and they are here to stay.

Introduction of the hybrid office

Our surveys and conversations throughout FY21 found that most Incrementalists now want to work from home some of the time. After over a year of working remotely, it is clear that most tasks and meetings can be done effectively without being in the office. Whilst the role of the office will change, we still strongly believe there is still an important place for office working at Incremental.

Like many leading professional services and technology organisations, when we fully return to our offices it will be to a hybrid way of working. Our physical offices and standard working practices are being redesigned for this purpose and changes are being made to effectively align with this new way of working.

With the purpose of office working changing to be focused on socialising, collaborating and learning, the physical office needs to change to align with this. This means creating more spaces for the types of activities and interactions that people will come into the office for.

We have thought long and hard about this change and have made a significant investment in moving to this model. We are working towards having one of the first hybrid offices in the country designed specifically for this new era of working, something that is very exciting to be at the forefront of.

Health and Wellness Group

The last year has highlighted the increased need to create an environment that protects employees and their wellbeing. We therefore developed a framework inclusive of social, physical and psychological support and created a Health and Wellness Group (HWG), made up of representatives from across the organisation. The HWG delivers activities that create a positive healthy working environment and nurtures an inclusive and supportive culture. Our employee wellbeing scores in our monthly employee survey have increased by 8% over the last year.



Learning and development

The long-term success of Incremental is dependent on us creating a culture of learning, high performance and being a great place to work. A critical piece of work undertaken this year was the creation of a formal learning and development (L&D) strategy that directly aligns to business strategy.

All Incrementalists now have an individual L&D plan. In addition to investing extensively in Microsoft product and methodology training, we continued to deliver a programme of professional skills covering everything from time management to negotiation skills and have expanded our formal mentoring programme. Our increased focus on L&D has helped us increase the time Incrementalists spend on L&D, almost doubling this since last year, with Incrementalists spending 8% of their available time on L&D during FY21.

"Incremental have been brilliant throughout the whole process. Implementing a new CRM system in a short time frame seemed like an impossible ask, but we were able to do it, and do it well, with the support of Incremental. The team always made time to answer questions, address issues and ensure we had everything that we needed."

Ben Wilde, DCRM Product Owner, Capital International Group.

Incremental Days

Incremental Days were launched three years ago and they have become a critical element of how we engage with our Incrementalists. They help our people stay connected to and better informed about developments in the business, help to build personal relations across the business and support the sharing of experiences and expertise.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced us to adapt the Incremental Days and they went virtual. We brought in external specialists to deliver sessions on everything from virtual presenting skills to understanding unconscious bias. We ran quizzes, gameshows and cocktail hours.

Virtual Incremental Days have been a key enabler of engagement and connectivity as a group. Our employee engagement scores, captured in our monthly survey, have increased by 17% over the last year.