Communication, trust and remote working in times of crisis

Written by Investors In People

Good news stories from our community

Each week, we’ll be featuring an organisation from our community that is finding a way to thrive during this difficult time.

This week, it’s the turn of Composite Profiles…

Who are Composite Profiles?

Composite Profiles design, supply and install composite metal floor and structural roof decking for multi-storey builds such as schools, residential flats, car parks, retail and many more!

They operate across the UK, with a head office in Poole and a regional office in Nottingham and Site Teams based out of Newcastle Upon Tyne and Derby.

Composite Profiles have been Investors in People accredited since 2013 and currently hold our Investors In People Platinum award.

How has the Covid-19 outbreak impacted them?

Composite Profiles faced the challenge of having to make a rapid shift to home working for their office-based teams. While flexible working had been previously encouraged, this would be the first time everyone would be working from home. In addition to this, Composite Profiles also had to decide the action to take for the teams who work beyond the office, in construction sites throughout the UK.

How did Composite Profiles rise to the challenge?

In Mark Norton’s (Managing Director) statement to stakeholders, the key message was ‘People First – Always’. This truly has been the cornerstone of Composite Profiles’ response to Covid-19.

Remote working preparation at Composite Profiles began in the weeks before the official instruction to lockdown. Arrangements were made so everything was in place for people to work from home if they needed to; each of the team was risk-assessed and those who were most vulnerable were identified. Composite Profiles were ready to respond before the announcement was made. In the following days, many of the construction projects their  site teams were working on closed, and the decision was taken to temporarily suspend site operations in order to review working procedures – putting safety of the team first.

Communication has also been one of the key areas of focus for Mark during this time. The team have a commitment to being open, honest and transparent in an environment of mutual respect. Leaders admit to not knowing all the answers and are open about finding this time difficult too, as they balance work priorities with the demands of being at home (and home-schooling). This shone through in their ‘Home Working – Hints, Tips and Expectations’ document shared early on with the team, which included advice such as ‘Trust in yourself and others’. Openness to flexibility and appreciation for the potential challenges of those with children at home was also shown, as people were told to discuss alternative hours with their manager if it would help – but ultimately ‘we trust you to make these decisions’.

When asked how the newly remote team was being managed, Mark said ‘trust is key for remote working ……not getting it right all the time is fine’ and highlighted the importance of ‘checking in’ rather than ‘checking up’ – the emphasis should be on that person and whether they need support.

During this period, collaboration and building team spirit (one of the organisation’s values) has continued, encouraged by everyone in the organisation. Existing Slack channels have been adapted to encourage people to share funny content or what they are up to – whether it’s learning to back-flip (staged!) or showcasing a new garden project. As well as the daily team meetings, the whole organisation get together for a virtual coffee break every Wednesday. Increasing the time available for the team to mix, albeit virtually, has meant better mutual understanding of roles across the organisation, and will be something Composite Profiles continue with beyond the current crisis.

Shared challenges have also brought the team closer. Beccy Brown, Marketing Manager, commented that the struggle to become familiar with remote working technology had been a big unifier, as whether young, old, site or non-site, they were all learning something new.

How have Composite Profiles looked after the wellbeing of their team?

One of the key actions is for the senior leadership team to meet every day at 8AM to discuss the wellbeing of the team as a priority. Any risks to people in the team are also addressed as a priority, before moving to key updates and the financial position.

The internal team of Mental Health First Aiders are available to anyone who needs support or signposting and are referenced in the home working guide.

Recognition and feedback have continued despite Covid-19 disruption. Composite Profiles use an ‘Appreciation Tree’ where people put comments thanking team members for their efforts in ‘pockets’ on the tree, an idea put in place by the Recognition and Reward Champion. This has been taken virtual and has been a great way of continuing to recognise the efforts of the team.

The Practitioner’s perspective

Our Practitioners are more than an ‘in and out’ consultant. They are passionate about supporting the organisations they partner with. Here’s what Jonathan Saunders, the Practitioner for Composite Profiles has to say:

“When I came in again to see Composite Profiles earlier this year for their assessment, I could see the leaders in the business had gone the extra mile – and some! – to bring in ideas that respect and value their people.”

Continuous improvement

One of the things that shines through at Composite Profiles is the belief that new ideas deliver excellence. As Mark states in the Welcome Pack for new joiners, ‘Excellence is not about radical changes but about accruing small improvements over time’. I think this culture of innovation and willingness to try new things has proved useful to Composite Profiles during this time.

Collaboration

When visiting the offices, it was clear that there was a lot of ‘natural’ collaboration across the business, with people coming together in structured ways (e.g. workshops) but also as part of the fabric of day to day. It’s great to hear that this has proved to be a strong foundation which has now been built on with people out of the office.

Trust and empowerment

There is a clear culture of entrusting and relying on people, and ‘Building Trust’ is one of Composite Profiles’ values.  There is no great sense of hierarchy or power.  From MD to the newest worker all opinions, views and ideas are valued.

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Beginner – your journey is just starting…


Thanks for completing our workplace wellbeing assessment! Don’t be disheartened by your result, the fact you’re considering employee wellbeing is a huge step in the right direction.

Here are some common themes we see when organisations are only just starting out on their wellbeing journey:
  • No strategy or poor buy in from executives
  • No goals or objectives or they’re poorly defined
  • No budget assigned to wellbeing
  • Company doesn’t consider all areas of wellbeing
  • Company doesn’t collect any data on wellbeing
  • Company doesn’t understand how to measure success


It’s great to see that you’ve made the commitment to start your wellbeing journey. If you take the time to plan, execute and measure your strategy you’ll start to see positive results.

We’re here to help you every step of the way – complete our enquiry form and our team will get in touch to see how we can help you!

Intermediate – you’re taking wellbeing seriously!

Thanks for completing our workplace wellbeing assessment. You can be pleased with your result, you value your employees wellbeing, your approach needs refining to get to the highest level.

Here are some common themes we see when organisations are making the right steps but need to refine them:
  • There is a strategy and execs buy into it, but it needs developing further to achieve your ambitions
  • There may be goals and objectives but they need refining
  • There is a budget assigned to wellbeing
  • Company may not consider all areas of wellbeing
  • Company struggles to collect and use wellbeing data
  • What defines success may be a little blurry


It’s great to see you’re making positive steps with your wellbeing plan. If you take the time to refine your strategy you’ll start to see even better results.

We’re here to help you every step of the way – complete our enquiry form and our team will get in touch to see how we can help you!

Advanced – your strategy is flying high!

Thanks for completing our workplace wellbeing assessment. You should be ecstatic, employee wellbeing is a key driver at your company and you’re doing everything on your own to promote it.

Here are some common themes we see in top organisations:
  • There is a clear strategy and executives actively promote it
  • There are clear goals and objectives – you know what you want to achieve
  • You have a budget that’s dedicated to wellbeing
  • You deliver in all areas of wellbeing
  • Your company collected data and uses it to inform your strategy
  • You have stealer KPIs and understand how they contribute to success


It’s great to see you’re making positive steps with your wellbeing plan. However, wellbeing can always be improved – so you’re in the perfect place to undertake our official wellbeing assessment!

Complete our enquiry form and our team will get in touch to talk you through our wellbeing accreditation.

Thanks | #MAKEWORKBETTER

BEFORE YOU GO...

Hopefully you found what you were looking for. We’re always releasing new content and scheduling events to tackle some of the hottest topics in the news right now, so do check back soon.

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