How is our organization dealing with COVID-19 from an HR perspective? In a second series of interviews, Stefan Duran spoke on behalf of Dutch magazine Management Scope with our CHRO, Maryjo Charbonnier, for an update on developments at Wolters Kluwer.
At Wolters Kluwer, our top priority remains to protect the health and safety of our employees, clients, and communities. This summary of the interview includes highlights on how we have responded to the Coronavirus with our employees.
“The company is still performing well,” Maryjo explains. “We are slowly returning to the office, although 70% of our offices will most likely remain closed until early January 2021. We wrote up an internal checklist of criteria that buildings must meet before they are safe to open. We remain cautious with reopening of our offices.”
“With our employees, we focus on three aspects: staying safe and healthy, staying engaged and connected, and remaining productive. Their needs vary significantly, so we want to implement an optimized global policy on flexible working that includes lots of different arrangements, including working from home, alternating working from home, and working in the office, with flexible working hours where possible.”
Staying connected with our employees is of great importance at Wolters Kluwer. “The answers to our last employee survey were very positive; however initially people understandably felt like they had a higher workload as they transitioned to working from home. This is why we launched internal campaigns on how to set up a home office, remote management, and how to work on career development in the current circumstances. We were awarded the 2020 Gold Stevie Award for Great Employers under the category of COVID-19 – Most Innovative Work from Home Plan. I’m very proud of this recognition for our approach.” Maryjo explains.
Part of their conversation touched on how obstacles to the ‘new normal’ can be overcome by learning new habits. “For example, people are not used to wearing face masks all the time. Nevertheless, when they are back to the office, they will need to wear them for everyone’s safety. A lot of repetition and training is required to make new information and habits stick in such situations.”