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Adam Davies from GymShark on developing people in times of crisis

We caught up with Adam Davies, People Development Manager at one of the fastest growing companies in the world, GymShark. Adam shares his insights on driving learning and knowledge sharing remotely.


What have been the main challenges you’ve faced during the COVID19 lockdown and how has HowNow helped you overcome them?

These challenging & uncertain times have brought about some real opportunities, as a business the vast majority of our workforce had to adjust to remote working measures in a really short amount of time with the government guidelines in mind – and whilst this was challenging, the level of communication and clarity has been incredible from the board and business leaders and it something that I am sure will continue. We are finding that people are spending more time browsing the content we have available in HowNow, and attribute this to people splitting up their day with learning resources. It also seems that there are content uploads and knowledge share from all corners of the business at this moment in time which is fantastic to see.  

How have you been using HowNow to encourage independent learning from home?

Other than pushes around the skills functionality, we have not actively pushed any projects or campaigns in HowNow, the reason for this is that it seems that people are going to it organically and are sharing organically. We have however directed people to HowNow for tips on working from home, guidance on remote working and getting the best out of your ‘home office’ which seem popular and obviously live in the system for as long as we want them too.

How has HowNow helped you communicate information and directions related to Covid-19?

We have daily comms through Slack, by email and there are a multitude of zoom calls taking place during the day. So HowNow has been really helpful in being the place people can go to at any point for information about working from home, even if it is just tips and tricks from us at Gymshark or resources we are fortunate to have access too through the AI-powered recommendations in HowNow. 

How have you continued to build your learning culture during this period?

The booking functionality has been important so our staff know that they still have learning available to them during this period of uncertainty, and that the company is still investing in resources such as business coaching, NLP & business resilience through ZOOM. We are fortunate enough as employees that the leadership team at GYMSHARK are still investing in our people in that respect.

What pain points you are still looking to solve?

From a people development team perspective this is definitely about reassuring people that they have time to invest in learning and that it is still something we are prioritising as a company during this pandemic. This is a new challenge and there are some days where people will naturally struggle to be at the productive capacity they usually are during the change in surroundings etc; If that happens – read something you are interested in, go through a playlist and upskill or book onto a training course or webinar. If it adds to your mental wellbeing it’s a worthwhile exercise.

From a HowNow perspective, we are going to use this time as an opportunity to reintroduce how the tool can support people, in the day to day of working life. Busy business can mean there is a tonne of comms flying around, some of which can be missed or lost in translation. Whether it is courses, events or just general information sharing, it’s important to reinforce that learning in the flow of work is a really essential part of this day and age.