The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to make significant, and potentially lasting, changes. It also marks a moment in history that has brought us together to problem-solve and all reflect on our purpose and what we value.

As a business we have worked closely with our clients in every industry and every function; helping them adjust rapidly to the changing needs of their people, their customers and suppliers. At the same time, as an employer we have done our best to keep our people and our communities engaged and cared for in unprecedented times, putting their health and well-being at the top of our agenda.

Everyone is going through a reset. While some changes may be temporary, this reset is likely to alter what it means to be part of a society and community. Some things will never be the same again: the new normal will be “never normal”.

Leaders must concentrate their attention on the intersection of social impact and brand—now, in the coming year and in the “never normal” future.

"Planning for the future is more challenging than ever, but there are real opportunities to turn massive complexity into meaningful change."

— OLLY BENZECRY, Chairman and Managing Director for Accenture – UK and Ireland

Planning for the future is more challenging than ever, but there are real opportunities to turn massive complexity into meaningful change. Now is a chance to help businesses transform to be more resilient, and more sustainable, and create a more flexible and modern work experience for their people. Emerging stronger from this crisis is critical for us all.

– Olly Benzecry, Chairman and Managing Director for Accenture, UK and Ireland

1. Our people

As an organisation we have always been well-equipped for remote working so we were able to move our entire UK workforce to homeworking at pace.

As our workforce adapted to an entirely homeworking reality, we helped them with that change, offering advice on how to work remotely and tools that would help them thrive.

We also acknowledged that the changes brought on by the pandemic could have an impact on our people’s mental health. Through awareness campaigns, a schedule of health and wellness webinars, and learning programmes like Thriving Mind, which breaks down the science of stress, we encouraged our people to ensure they were getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising—and generally being kind to themselves.

12.5K

Hours registered for reskilling and upskilling.

22%

Of our people in the UK participated in Emerge Stronger 10-day Quest.

Our people initiatives include

Training

To show our commitment to developing our people, a company-wide training initiative encouraged them to use down time to upskill.

Emerge stronger 10-day quest

To encourage a positive outlook, our 10-day campaign offered a new theme each day to help our people feel connected, motivated and supported while working remotely.

The Art of Kindness

For Mental Health Awareness Week, employees teamed up with illustrator Giulia Sagramola to create a short graphic novel inspired by acts of kindness.

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2. Our clients

We're helping our clients to see the opportunities amongst the challenges. To embrace this moment and make responsible, positive changes. To become more agile, reduce risk and create value well into the future.

In addition to general thought leadership, we’re publishing industry-specific analysis, gauging the impact and lasting effects of COVID-19 on automotive, banking, consumer goods and services, media, energy, health, public service and other sectors.

3. Community

The impact of COVID-19 was deeply felt in our local communities so we continued our efforts to help the workforce.

Accenture’s Digital Skills course on social media was part of the UK government’s Skills Toolkit for furloughed workers. More than 50,000 people completed courses in April alone.

We also helped Internship Experience UK develop three-day online internship experiences for students and graduates across the country to help them gain skills, boost employability and build their network virtually during the pandemic.

Other initiatives include

NHSmail: Connecting care teams

We worked with Microsoft, NHS Digital and NHSX to introduce Microsoft Teams for 1.2 million NHSmail users within seven days.

Coordinating production of medical ventilators for UK

Working with Rolls-Royce, as part of VentilatorChallengeUK to coordinate production of medical ventilators urgently needed for the UK’s health service.

NHS nightingale: Designing staff experience

WhatIf innovation consultancy, part of Accenture, designed the experience for 20,000+ medical staff at the 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale temporary hospitals.

DevicesDotNow: Giving digitally-excluded access

Co-launched this initiative to help 1.9M UK households without internet online access to medical support, groceries, friends and family.

Stay nimble: Supporting furloughed workers

With social enterprise Stay Nimble, offered 4,000 furloughed workers support and information, including coaching and short-term job opportunities.

Helpforce: Scaling aid from businesses

Supported Helpforce —which matches help requests with firms’ offers of people, goods, services—move its operations on to Salesforce Service Cloud.

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Reboot: Delivering technology to those that need it most

Accenture and Nominet work with grassroots organiser Power to Connect to deliver an online platform that supports the digitally excluded and puts devices in the hands of those that need them most.

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