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Webinar Retrospective: 12 Insights from Organisations Adapting to the “New Normal” of Working

12 Insights from Organisations Adapting to the “New Normal” of Working

The Impact of Change in 2020 and Beyond

In the first instalment of our Trust Insight webinar series, we were privileged to be joined by an Expert Panel from the Great Place to Work Community.  This knowledgeable and experienced group was comprised of Bairbre Berry from Credit Agricole Creditor Insurance, Helen Gallagher from Morgan McKinley & Carolyn O'Malley from Science Foundation Ireland.

Hosted by Fania Stoney and Jim Flynn, we were offered insights into how panellists and their organisations are adapting to the current and future reality of work. At a granular level, we sought to understand what had changed for organisations in Ireland, what remains the same, and how can businesses adapt to the “new normal” of working?

Each of our panellists provided their unique perspectives, the key points of which we have summarised below.


Bairbre Berry, Head of HR with Credit Agricole:

  • Listening to and communicating with the staff is vital in navigating changing circumstances.  

  • As organisations look to resume a sense of normality, it important to reflect on their experiences and evolve their practices based on staff perspectives.

  • The crisis has reinforced the importance of trust within the organisation. Staff who feel trusted will feel a greater sense of loyalty and reciprocate trust.

  • Continued productivity during the crisis can be partly attributed to a philosophy of demonstrating genuine care for staff, keeping morale high through personal connection.  


Carolyn O’ Malley, Head of HR and Organisational Development with Science Foundation Ireland:

  • Being in the process of a recruitment drive, decisions had to be made whether to proceed. Choosing to stay the course, buddy programmes and coffee mornings were essential in virtual onboarding.

  • Flexibility and fairness were needed in considering annual leave. Staff were consulted with and an agreement was reached that days would be taken to allow time to decompress.

  • Annual performance conversations should be approached with compassion, befitting the shift in circumstances.

  • Covid-19 allowed the trialling of new working arrangements, if we learn from this we can return not just back to normal, but perhaps back to better for staff and organisation alike.


Helen Gallagher, Global Head of HR with Morgan McKinley:

  • We must consider the long-term mental health impact of this pandemic on employees, implementing strategies to support those in need of assistance.

  • Public transport creates a sense of anxiety for many, to navigate such issues it is beneficial to offer off-peak, flexible start, and finish times to those affected.

  • Academic and government survey data indicates an overwhelming majority of workers wish to continue working from home in some capacity. A return to site may be a disruption to newly established routines. 

  • Further studies indicate that, during this pandemic, individuals trusted their employer to a greater extent than the government or media. This highlights the role of employer communications to the psychological security of employees.

These were certainly valuable insights provided by our expert panel, covering a range of pressing issues. With common themes present of trust, open communication, flexibility, and genuine compassion for employees, we would suggest that many of our partner organisations are well equipped to navigate these complicated times. We feel that together, we will emerge from this situation with new ways of doing things, perhaps placing greater value in those around us. 

Should you wish to watch the full webinar, you can do so here


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