OceanMind is a not-for-profit organisation set up to protect the world’s fisheries by empowering enforcement and compliance. It supports government authorities and seafood buyers with expertise and technology to enable responsible sourcing and sustainability. Initially set up as a project within a larger Government-funded organisation, OceanMind spun out as its own entity with eight staff, rapidly growing over a period of just two years to employ more than 40 people.
Reality HR have been on the journey with us and have given us advice and support in so many different ways. They work in partnership with us as an extension of our organisation. They really understand our culture and priorities, and working with a mission-aligned not-for-profit organisation. They are fantastic. INGA WISE, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Employees come from backgrounds as varied as the military and scientific disciplines, and come to OceanMind’s headquarters in Didcot, Oxfordshire from a vast range of countries including New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Slovakia, Germany, and the USA. Upon its creation, OceanMind retained Reality HR for day-to-day HR support. As the organisation grew, Inga Wise, Director of Business Operations, worked with the Reality HR team on employee wellbeing and enabling teamwork and collaboration.
The action taken by Reality HR
From the start, Reality HR has supported OceanMind with people management fundamentals including employee handbooks, GDPR compliance, and support with day-to-day HR issues.
During the pandemic, OceanMind moved to a remote working model overnight, with the Reality HR team supporting the transition. Wellbeing was a key focus for Inga during this time, and remains so.
“We’ve been very mindful of wellbeing during lockdown,” she says. “We’ve done lots of work around that – we’ve held weekly beers and cheers, we’ve built an intranet so that we had a hub for people to gather on, and Reality HR have been extremely helpful with advice on wellbeing. People must be proactive in communicating and that is something that Reality HR have always been aware of and helped us with.”
As a maturing organisation, OceanMind recognised the importance of creating a line management structure, and of effectively training individuals to lead teams within it. Reality HR has supported this process and is also working with Inga to produce competency frameworks for use in the recruitment process.
Reality HR’s expertise in cross-border HR is also invaluable to OceanMind, which has the intricacies of Brexit to deal with alongside the demands of an international team of people and arrangements with overseas contractors. To support collaboration and positive interactions between a diverse range of people, Reality HR held Insights Discovery sessions, which create individual personality profiles based on four colours that each represent a different personality trait. Originally planned to take place in person, these were delivered via video during the lockdown.
Inga says: “Reality HR did a wonderful job putting it into a virtual experience. Recognising people’s colours and appreciating how we all communicate differently, and how to adapt, went really well. The team loved it, and it opened up conversations. Knowing how members of your team work, and how you work, can definitely be mutually beneficial.”
As OceanMind continues to evolve, the support provided by Reality HR adapts to its range of needs. Inga works closely with Reality HR consultant Kate Scott, who she describes as a “direct go-to” for people across the organisation when they need support. As well as the day-to-day support and larger project work, Inga values the Reality HR team’s in-depth understanding of OceanMind, its culture and its people, and the team’s ability as an external partner to “see the bigger picture” and identify areas where help is needed
The team at Reality HR have been extremely important to our development as an organisation. They can step away and see us from the outside – and put us on track so we are where we need to be. INGA WISE, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS