When I think of our workforce, I see all the different faces across our offices in Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey. Many have been born and bred on the islands. Others, like me, have made our homes here. In all, our diverse workforce brings together people from more than 30 nationalities. We are a firm that exists for the benefit of all Channel Islanders, and is very much rooted in the communities we serve. During my time as Territory Senior Partner, I am especially proud of our growing presence on the island of Alderney.
Supporting the wellbeing of our people during these difficult times has been the most important responsibility for me and my leadership team. We had already introduced flexible working and invested in fully mobile communications before the pandemic. These foundations paid dividends when we had to make the rapid switch to home working in 2020. The digital connectivity not only enabled us to work remotely, but also sustain mutual support, welfare and morale.
Now that our offices are open once again, it’s wonderful to see them brimming with people and life. I believe that our workforce’s enthusiasm to come back to work in the office for at least part of the week not only reflects the welcoming nature of the environment, but also the friendships and sense of togetherness that are so critical to our success.
In my view, it’s important for colleagues to engage face-to-face regularly. The personal interaction helps to spark new ideas, strengthen collaboration and ensure that everyone can benefit from informal coaching and advice from management. At the same time, our people have the option to work from wherever they want, as best suits them. That might be at home or on the move, or perhaps abroad for a few weeks as members of staff from overseas take the chance to reconnect with family and friends that they might not have seen for over a year. As leaders, we want to set an example by embracing flexibility in our working lives. When people see that they can advance their careers while working in ways that suit them and help them sustain a healthy work-life balance, they will be confident in embracing it too.
Technology certainly helps to make this balanced and agile way of working possible. Through our ongoing New World, New Skills programme, we’re helping our workforce to develop the capabilities and confidence to make the most of digital innovation. Using technology to take care of mundane tasks helps our people to focus more of their time on what they find interesting and creates real value for clients. In turn, harnessing the latest advances in analytics and interactive visualisation improves our ability to turn data into insights and take innovation to the next level.
Trust is every bit as important as technology in creating new ways of working. By focusing on outputs, not inputs, and giving people the autonomy to decide how they meet their objectives, we trust them to deliver.
While we knew in theory that flexible, digitally-enabled ways of working were the right way forward, the past year has provided solid proof of their efficacy. The combination of advanced technology and workforce upskilling, commitment and empowerment is reflected in rising revenues and client satisfaction scores. In the year up to 30 June 2021, we recognised this outstanding performance through bonuses for every member of staff up to director level.
In some crucial respects, however, the transformation of our workforce still has some way to go. We are really pleased that at all grades in the business we have a relatively equal split between men and women and negligible gender pay gaps, with an overall pay gap at the staff level of 2.6%. However, at the partner level, we still have work to do. Including partner pay into our gender pay calculation increases the gap to 36%. This is a consequence of having two female partners and 12 male partners. We are determined that with a strong pipeline of diverse talent, we will be able to close the gap. This won’t happen overnight and we need to double down on our efforts to create an inclusive culture, investing in leadership development and bringing through our high potential women if we are to achieve greater gender balance and see the pay gap improve over the next five years.
We want to make this a place where everyone can fulfil their potential. We recognise that this is not only the right thing to do morally, but is also critical to the performance of our business by broadening our perspectives and range of experience. Our inclusion and diversity commitment covers all stages of the employment lifecycle from recruitment and induction through to performance review and progression.