Baltic Apprenticeships - Prioritising people during a crisis

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Baltic’s specialist apprenticeship programmes launch careers in IT, software development and digital marketing. They are dedicated, digital experts who are passionate about making a recognised social impact. Regardless of race, gender, location and economic status, their innovative approach to technical training is bringing a host of opportunities to those who may have previously considered a career in tech to be out of reach.

We interviewed their HR Manager, Matt Welch, on the businesses approach to supporting their people and business continuity during the COVID-19 crisis

Our primary focus was ensuring that our people were at the heart of decisions we were making, especially as the situation developed.

Matt Welch

HR Manager

The challenge: mitigating disruption and unease due to COVID-19

  • The need to understand overall strengths and weaknesses
  • Adapting to full-scale remote working, when it wasn’t the norm
  • Mitigating the disruption of COVID-19, and preventing unease

It was critical to understand, from Baltic’s people, what their strengths and areas for development were. This would influence their communications and engagement plan in the short-term, and strategically in the long-term.

They had already begun daily transparent communications with their people as developments were announced from the Government. However, they knew there was change afoot – for instance quickly transitioning to company-wide working from home, which wasn’t the ‘norm’ for their leaders or people.

Their biggest focus was to mitigate the disruption and unease this and the situation overall would cause their people.

The solution: our ‘Readiness’ survey

  • Our ‘Readiness’ survey, assessing their ability to adapt to change
  • A ready-to-send survey, complete with suggested communications

What was immediately appealing for Baltic was the fact the survey was there and ready to deploy. That meant they could concentrate on the core task of enabling business continuity, and supporting their people and leaders during this transitional period.

The results were sat in Matt’s inbox a few hours after completion – and the detailed, deep-dive analysis of the responses and index comparison was highly insightful. Their people’s opinions, thoughts, and needs were right at his fingertips.

This supported their people-focused communications and engagement plan. It showed they were listening, but more importantly, it enabled them to respond.

The process was seamless. We were introduced to the concept by Qlearsite via LinkedIn and the level of support during initial sign up and deployment was brilliant. The process took literally minutes. Within the hour I had a survey link, helpful pre-written comms content and supportive guidance from the Qlearsite team.

Matt Welch

HR Manager

The results: high levels of readiness

  • High levels of ‘Readiness’ overall
  • Benchmarked 95%+ in all areas of the survey
  • Open-text responses gave further insight

Baltic were happy to see the overall ‘Readiness’ score and the individual scores per theme area, particularly as they benchmarked 95% and above in all areas. They found it refreshing and validating to hear that their people generally felt our approach, at that early stage, was at the right level.

This directly influenced their overall internal communications and engagement strategy. The open text responses were the biggest area of influence, as this gave context to the scores they received – but most importantly, showed them where they could improve and build on their approach to continue meeting people’s needs.

The next steps: an internal communications and engagement plan


From these insights, Matt and his team worked closely with their Brand and Marketing colleagues, and Senior Leadership, to design an internal communications and engagement plan built on:

  • Business response and performance communications
  • Employee engagement and virtual social interaction
  • Employee health and wellbeing support
  • Provision of fully-funded learning and CPD opportunities
  • Employee recognition, appreciation and reward

Get actionable people insights with Qlearsite

7 Bell Yard

Tel: (+44) 0203 915 6200