People Operations Manager at the Libra Group, Angeliki Kollia, looks at the impact of Covid-19 on the global workforce and various measures taken to support employees and maintain business continuity.
At Libra Group we take pride in having a globally distributed workforce, that is nonetheless an integrated team, sharing values and approaches across borders. Guided by our core principle of applying ‘family values’ to an international business, we have done our best amid the COVID-19 epidemic to ensure that our people remain safe, both physically and mentally.
We have been closely monitoring government guidelines and the advice of medical professionals in an effort to achieve business continuity while minimizing risk for everyone.
Following the closure of our offices, we put together a crisis response team focused on three pillars; communication, systems and processes to introduce and support smarter and more flexible work practices.
Through centralised communication we have ensured that all employees have access not only to the latest government guidelines in their location, but are fully aware of measures being taken by the group to address the crisis. The communication is very much two-way and we have formalized the ‘ideas and suggestions’ process so that, despite isolation, everyone knows that their voice is still being heard.
The People Operations department has also enhanced the levels of pastoral care it provides, giving health, wellbeing and leisure advice spanning fitness, meditation, mindfulness, DIY, entertainment - and even ideas for recipes that are easy to prepare at home.
Part of that pastoral care is being delivered by Seleni, the non-profit organization dedicated to supporting emotional health, and one of our social responsibility initiatives. Seleni has generously agreed to make its telephone-based mental health counselling services available to all group employees. Seleni’s special expertise is the emotional wellbeing of families - so important for those team members with children who have had to adjust their work pattern to accommodate the needs of their family.
Smart use of digital resources has of course become a ‘mission critical’ during the pandemic and we have become more digitally connected than ever before. Teams have full network access and, subject to local internet availability, collaboration and conferencing is proving seamless.
Our next challenge is to plan for the future. In many ways we expect improvements in efficiency and communication born out of necessity to leave us even better placed to run a cohesive international business. We will utilise the knowledge earned during this crisis to enhance our business continuity planning, reshape our business practices and embrace change.