Omar Morsy is Chief People Officer at STRYDE and will be speaking virtually as part of our panel discussion on strategies for a healthy, engaged, remote workforce on day two of the Wellbeing at Work UK Summit on 20-22 September and we wanted to get his thoughts before he takes to the virtual stage.
We are thrilled that you will be speaking at our Wellbeing at Work UK Summit in September. Our first and most important question is, how are you doing today?
I’m doing great thanks, after 2 years with STRYDE I genuinely still look forward to logging on in the morning and having my first stand up meeting to get me focused for the day. I used to dread these meetings as felt like I needed to make sure I was perfectly organised before hand and portraying a figure of absolute control but over time this has shifted to a 0 expectation conversation where people can discuss what needs to be done, whinge about what’s going on at home or just share their weekend or evenings drama. It has been critical having these touch points in the day with us working predominantly remotely.
As a leader based in the region, what are the main challenges your you are facing when it comes to employee wellbeing?
Wellbeing challenges are constantly evolving, but we are fortunate in that we are a small and experienced team so it is easier to put our arms around the business to understand what people really need and respond accordingly. Listening and acting quickly enough can be challenging while continuing to grow with a people team of just 2 but we use tools like culture amp to constantly monitor engagement and use traditional methods like having a good old chat to understand how people are. One of the hardest challenges over the last 2 years has been convincing certain geographical locations that HR is a value add as opposed to the bad guys doing the dirty work but I think we have done a good job here and people see we want to help make their lives great in the workplace…where we can.
What strategies have you seen developing in the UK over the past 6-12 months post pandemic to address health and wellbeing in the workplace?
Outside of our company wide Strava challenges, ensuring our team have all the equipment they need in their home offices and having our regular all hands meetings to ensure the team feels connected with our mission. Our biggest strategy for our UK office has been our return to the office policy. We work in the office twice a month consecutively as a result of many conversations with employees and engagement data focused on wellbeing we overwhelmingly discovered our UK team craved flexibility that home working affords and opportunity to meet in the office once a month allows us to ensure we maintain our close relationships and gives us the chance to socialise.
Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?
I have worked directly for 3 CEO’s now and you don’t truly understand the importance of wellbeing until you have been in a situation where your own personal wellbeing is in jeopardy. People are not always at the centre of a business regardless of the tag lines we get fed, profit often supersedes steering the decisions that are made with HR often the tool to facilitate the more difficult decisions to be made. It wasn’t until I joined STRYDE, where employees are truly at the centre of our success and recognised for this that I realised things can be different and HR isn’t just a box ticking exercise and people outside of HR also see the value we can bring. This has been enriching and an education in how we want to maintain our business as we continue to grow. I think it goes without saying people can really be there best looking forward when not wondering what’s happening behind them…
What are you most looking forward to about the Summit in September?
Talking about and sharing what we do at STRYDE but also hearing what our peers and colleagues in the space are doing as were constantly looking to elevate our business and steal ideas where I can.
Tell us, what is your vision for the workplace of the future, in terms of employee engagement, health and wellbeing?
If regional geographical tax wasn’t a barrier of entry id promote working where and when you like, we adopt this approach where and if we can but tax has been a pain for me here.
What areas do you think employers should be focused on over the next 12-18 months?
Our strategy is broad, we listen to our people, we are not adopting one strategy over another, we remain nimble and go with the flow of what works for our demographic. In a nutshell, listen to your people and give them as much rope as they need for flexibility to formulate the best work life balance they can.
How has your organisation been leading the way?
The business had been operational for around 8 months before I joined, so almost everything STRYDE do today is based on what myself and the wider team have achieved.
Join us at the Wellbeing at Work UK Summit between 20-22 September 2022 in London, Manchester and virtually and hear from Omar and over 60 expert speakers from across the world. Further details here.