Pioneer Profile: Meet Dan Malins
4th Oct 2023
It’s time that we recognise the people behind the evolving world of work. Our working lives have shifted to being more inclusive, more people-centric, more flexible, and just plain better for both employees and companies.
These changes didn’t just happen: they were put into place and upheld by individuals and teams working to create a better working future for everyone.
So we’re finally putting the spotlight on the people who make great companies great: the people-people.
People-people are crucial to the success of every company. They find you the talent that drives you forwards, and they’ve taken on an increasingly strategic role in the past few years – often taking on responsibility for mental health, diversity and inclusion, culture, EVPs, Employer Branding and team happiness.Read more about the Pioneers List and go behind the scenes to understand how and why we’ve selected our Pioneers.
We were lucky enough to speak with Dan Malins, Head of People and Culture at Amplifi about his career, his experiences with flexible working and building great company cultures, and his hopes for the future of work.
Tell us a little bit about your career history, and how you got to where you are now. What were the key milestones?
As most people tend to do, I fell into recruitment after university and really enjoyed the ‘people’ aspect of the role. I always wanted to broaden my skills into a wider people role, and I got that when I joined Amplifi 5 years ago. The leadership team knew I didn’t have the complete skill set at the time, but they took a chance on helping me develop and focus on maintaining the amazing culture as we grew.
When did you become interested in flexible working, EVPs and the future of work?
Coming to Amplifi in 2018 really gave me a broader perspective on remote working, as they had already been doing it for 2 years. I loved it straight away, because I was treated like an adult and empowered and trusted to get my work done. That's something we've worked really hard to hold on to as we've grown to the size we are now.My hope is that the future of work will see a new balance of power within companies, where the outdated top-down approach will shift and allow employees to manage their own workloads, with self-managed teams becoming the norm.
What's the most impactful change you’ve overseen?In January 2022 we implemented our work from anywhere policy. Since then, 35% of our employees have taken us up on it. We have had examples of employees seeing family they wouldn’t normally get to, having extended time abroad, and even some turning work trips into holidays and getting to see a city or country that they wouldn’t normally! This, tagged onto our 30 days of annual leave, means we give our employees enough time every year to properly get away and relax.
What’s the biggest impact flexible working has had on your own life?
I’ve recently become a dad for the first time. I was always an advocate for flexible working, but since Polly arrived I can’t imagine a life without it. Every day that I work from home, I get 3 extra hours with her that I wouldn’t get if I was working in an office. It’s amazing to be able to build a bond with her in a time I wouldn’t have had previously. My wife Sinead is a big fan of it, as it means I can share the load with her more evenly during her maternity leave.
What’s the biggest challenge of being in your role right now?Working in the data industry, our biggest challenge is building a diverse team. Luckily, Naomi Cruden (our Talent Manager) heads up our D&I committee and implements policies and changes which are being received well, and are putting us ahead of the rest of the industry.
What do you think the next big trend is in working culture?
I hope to see mental health packages being standard across companies. It’s not enough anymore to just have a Mental Health First Aider. As good as that is, we need to do more. A People function should foster an emotionally available culture where any employee feels supported enough to be able to speak out, and those they reach out to should be able to help. Our Charity partner, Mind, has exceptional employee and manager-specific Mental Health sessions which have really helped us this year.