22 May 2022

How to beat the blues, boost morale & build meaningful relationships

The perfect antidote to Blue Monday, we ask People & Culture Lead Alya Dikouchine about how she cultivates an environment that 3S Money employees actively look forward to - and why that's important for our clients.
Fluorescent iridescent: the vibrant personality supporting 3S Money’s team and clients

Blue Monday. You may have heard of it – and we’re not talking about the New Order track. Commonly referred to in the Northern Hemisphere as the ‘most depressing day of the year’, Blue Monday falls on the third Monday of January. The Christmas cheer has long dried up; the New Year’s celebrations are fading into the rear-view mirror; the bank balance is feeling the toll of both as the dark winter nights draw in. And, well, it’s Monday. 

But you won’t find any negativity in the rest of this blog – or at any of 3S Money’s global offices either. Why? It’s all down the hard work of Alya Dikouchine, People & Culture Lead at 3S Money. In this Heartbeat Blog, we discover how Alya and her team strive to create a positive working culture, and how that translates into our clients’ happiness. For while our customers may not interact with Alya directly, she’s an integral part of the human approach to service they receive. 

Hi Alya, first things first. How’s 2022 started?

We’ve pretty much picked up straight where 2021 left off – we increased our headcount by 160% last year – by launching our brand-new homepage. The first thing a visitor sees is, ‘Global business banking built for humans. Finally.’ We wanted to place our strongest selling point front and centre, which is the Personal Client Manager every 3S Money client receives. It’s them who provide the top-level service we’re known for!

How does what you do impact 3S Money employees and clients?

I’m there to support our Client Managers and the rest of the team. Working life makes up most of your week, so you don’t want to be leaving at 5:30 feeling starved of fulfilment. If you are, there’s a problem! I want people to feel as if they already achieved something, so they can go home, relax, and enjoy their well-deserved downtime. Looking forward to your day is so important. Likewise, if our team enjoy their work, I think that transmits over to our clients too.

What have you learned about looking after the team during your time at 3S Money?

Looking after people isn’t just snacks in the fridge or ordering Deliveroo for the team (as nice as that is!). It’s taking the time to get to know your team members and thinking of ways to be a value add to people’s mental health and overall wellbeing. For example, we’re piloting a professional and personal development coach for our London office. It’s all confidential, and if anything needs to get levelled up to counselling, we’ll fund that too. We want to make sure that everyone feels as supported as possible. If the pilot goes well, then we’d look to roll it out across all our offices.

How would you define 3S Money’s culture and values?

Culturally, we’re centred around trust and inclusivity. These dovetail nicely with our values, too – when you trust each other and feel like you’re in a safe and inclusive space, it gives you more of a playground to be creative. You’re less scared about making mistakes, really. In fact, we encourage mistakes, because they go hand-in-hand with curiosity, trial and error, trying new things – and that’s how you learn. 

What do you look for in a 3S Money employee?

That value and culture fit is really important. Someone who isn’t coming in with a ‘I’m the perfect package’ mentality, someone who is keen to learn, whether that’s from one another or others. But also someone who has something to bring the table, with a bit of spark and excitement who’s going to roll their sleeves, get stuck in and enjoy it. 

It sounds like there’s a focus on mentality.

Sure! People who undergo a steep learning curve feel more fulfilled as they learn and pick up more – they’re just more agile and coachable. 

Thanks for your time, Alya. Speaking of Blue Monday… if 3S Money was a colour, what would it be?

I’m going to ignore the usual colour profiles and go with an iridescent purple or orange, where every angle is a different colour and shines differently!

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