Important HR initiatives to combat COVID-19

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In times of crisis such as the one we are presently witnessing, HR is called upon to assess and respond to a wider solution that reflects the mission, ideals, and social influence of our organization with an emphasis on the wellbeing of our workers, collaborators, and the residential area. We need business continuity plans that often discuss how people will be psychologically resilient. Where devoted workers are the heroes of helping to deliver services to their neighborhoods. Now is the moment when people need you the most.

It is important for Human resources to cultivate an atmosphere of calm while also engaging the leadership team in responding with prompt, reliable, assertive, direct, and effective communication at all levels of the company. In addition, communication has to be truthful, open, and as straightforward as possible in order to preserve integrity. The resolution can even arrive from a situation of empathy and understanding of the diverse effects that circumstances such as this have on individuals, from the physical to the emotional. Our team is our most valuable asset, and together we need to look at our mission and our employees.

AL Safi Danone initiatives during COVID-19

Create a Crisis Management Team:

The team developed regular meetings to review changes, projects, and communication strategies.

HR was part of this crisis management team to:

■ Provide input in the guidelines to be implemented.

■ Gather and share staff questions and concerns.

■ Inform the team of new developments in employment laws and benefits.

■ Share revised policies.

■ Provide strategies to manage remote workers.

■ Share risks related to the crisis, and make sure that values and equity are still at the center of decision-making.

Focus on internal communications:

■ HR was leading the communications to ensure the actions we take should be thoughtful, clear, succinct, accurate, consistent, and as transparent as possible. This way of communication builds trust. We worked with the leadership team to build a robust internal update framework and a communication plan.

■ We organized two online Town Hall meetings hosted by the CEO to be closer to the employees and to answer their questions.

Employee Wellness and Safety Initiatives:

Some of the actions taken:

■ Distance Working initiated – the beginning of Mar-2020

■ 60 advisories + 5 awareness sessions + 4 videos communicated in 3 dissimilar languages.

■ Sanitation procedures across all branches. Over 600 liters of sanitizers distributed

■ Hygiene toolkits distributed for front-line including over 120,000 masks in two months

■ Contingency plan prepared for employees on vacation unable to work remotely

Implement Remote Work Strategies

■ HR worked with IT to ensure a smooth transition to a remote work scenario.

■ HR created and shared the policy for working remotely to promote health and wellbeing and work participation.

■ HR provided online learning both through in house, Safi Academy and external platforms to keep the people engaged and utilize their time productively during lockdown.

Social Responsibility

Al Safi Danone launched many initiatives to support the real heroes: front-line healthcare and security personnel across KSA for their immense efforts and profound commitment to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health, SFDA, and Ministry of Interior.

Westford Alumni

Nabil Batawi

Vice President – Human Resources (GCC & Levant), Al Safi Danone
Alumni – MBA, University of Wolverhampton

Related Links

COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on the Global Engineering & Construction Industry

Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Industry

7 Steps to Employee Engagement during COVID 19 Pandemic

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