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Best Practice Case Study: One tax collector's effort to help victims of modern day slavery

After suffering a life changing car accident, HMRC employee Arjmund Butt, a Women in Credit Awards winner, devoted much of her time to helping survivors of domestic abuse, FGM and modern slavery.

Arjmund Butt, winner of the Team Player of the Year – Public Sector category at the Women in Credit Awards 2019, faced great difficulty after a car accident left her unable to walk for the better part of the year.


Her nomination, which wowed the judges, detailed how after recovery, she joined HMRC and introduced a Reward and Recognition programme, which was built on nominating employees for the good work they do.


For all the time she spent selflessly nominating others, Arjmund was put forward by a colleague, and the successful entry meant Arjmund Butt won Team Player of the Year for Public Sector.


Arjmund’s view about the importance of recognising the skills, behaviours and talents of colleagues is that appreciation causes a ripple effect by motivating others to do well. Her entry emphasied that this benefits people and businesses.


Because of this, according to the entry, she has been a key player in transforming the Shipley Debt Resolution Team (DRT) within HMRC to a team who are highly appreciative of each other, respectful, supportive and want colleagues to exceed in their role.


Arjmund has significantly raised the profile of awards in the office by nominating people who deserve recognition - not only giving this task time and dedication but also encouraging people to join her, forming a Reward and Recognition team.


Her entry described Arjmund as a talented writer who began writing stories and film scripts at the age of 10. She continued her passion for writing and creation and brought this to Shipley - willingly coaching, mentoring and encouraging her Reward & Recognition team to grow in confidence and recognise worthy people for nominations. Her advice is to get to know their nominee, feel the connection, root for them and do the best nomination that you can.


Arjmund achieves all this alongside her day job which includes speaking to customers and collecting taxes owed to HMRC. The entry explained that she expects nothing in return for the extra work she puts into the awards, because the pleasure she gets from nominating colleagues is enough.


She had a serious car accident in 2009 which left with her no option but to take a career break to make a full recovery.


During this gap her confidence was at an all-time low. In order to help herself she did voluntary charity work which included work for Bone Cancer Research, she helped ladies of an ethnic background to get into work and education, and she also supported victims of forced marriage and FGM. Additionally, she became involved in charity events for refugees and orphans. While her actions clearly helped her, she was very apprehensive about joining HMRC due to the time gap. However, according to the entry, she found the support and atmosphere so welcoming that she quickly overcame her fears.


Her entry stated that Arjmund sees her work with awards as a ’thank you’ to her peers for their professionalism and understanding, which motivated her and continues to motivate her every single day.


Arjmund’s ‘thank you’ has been a massive contribution to the team community. To date she has instigated the submission of 55 award nominations of which one was shortlisted in the HMRC People Awards and a further seven were awaiting results.


According to the nomination, Arjmund has a natural ability to connect with people, tapping into talent. In the 2017 HMRC People Survey, Shipley DRT had an engagement score of 62 percent, the highest scoring DRT in the whole country, and is a huge increase from the 2016 figure of 49 percent. The entry made no hesitation in saying she has undoubtedly influenced this increased score.


The entry ended by simply stating: “We have an expert, we have a community, we have an outstanding team player.”


An interview with Arjmund will appear in the next issue of Credit Strategy.

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