Coronavirus has bought with it many challenges. Cadent has had to adapt its ways of working to deal with the virus to ensure we continue to keep the gas flowing safely and reliably to millions of homes. We’ve continued to hire new people since March recruiting over 1,500 people since March. However, we’ve had to adapt our onboarding process for our new hires. Here Andy Morris who recently joined Cadent as Head of Safety, shares his story.
How did you find joining Cadent under coronavirus restrictions?
Everybody I’ve met (and I’ve met lots of people since starting on 1 October), has been supportive and have given me the time and help I’ve needed to understand the role and business. I have taken over from previous incumbent Mark Ledingham, who I met in Coventry on my first day, socially distanced of course. We discussed key activities, stakeholders and plans, and working with the HSE.
Since then, I’ve mainly been working from home, which has helped me to work through a lot of introductory meetings online and complete my core training, but I’m itching to get out and see the teams working across the networks. Being at home, however, has helped me to carve out time in my day for exercise and my family, because they are both important to me.
How have you and your colleagues adjusted to the impact of restrictions on your department??
The Safety team has been undertaking site visits over the last few months to check on the COVID-19 controls that local teams have put in place. Before I started, they’d also spent a lot of time helping to develop the COVID-19 assessments that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.
We have a geographically dispersed team, so remote working probably enables us to spend more time together.
On the value of meeting people face to face, over a brew: For me the social aspect of work is really important. I’m a people person, so I’ve missed the opportunity to sit down and get to know people over a brew. It’s not quite the same by MS Teams.
So, when we’re able to properly, I’m looking forward to making a cake for a team meeting and doing some sort of team challenge, like a charity fun run. I also love setting myself annual challenges because they give me something to work towards outside of work – it’s great for my physical and mental health.
How have your colleagues helped you during the induction process? I was really impressed with how my first few weeks had been organised. Our Process Support Advisor Tara Fox had my PPE (Personnel Protective Equipment) and phone sent to me three weeks before I started. Then on day one, I was given my laptop and a four-week timetable of introductory meetings and events. I didn’t need to organise anything!
Without COVID-19, there would have been a lot more site visits in my induction, but I have been able to pick other things up at pace, and I have had the opportunity to meet loads of people in a really short space of time - the walk between meeting rooms has become the click of a button.
I’m grateful for the technology we’ve got. It has worked pretty much seamlessly since I started, and everyone has been great at helping me understand the systems we’ve got. It would have been a difficult induction without it!