How to address the coronavirus situation: take the initiative!

We have to fight this problem together. There are some universal solutions but every company needs to be creative to respond as needed and act to stop the coronavirus. Solidarity and responsibility – this is the motto of the fight against the pandemic. Please read a subjective evaluation of the situation by Judit Endrei-Kiss, Chief HR Officer of Telenor Hungary.

Endrei-Kiss Judit, a Telenor HR vezérigazgató-helyettese

“These days are the days of solidarity and responsibility. It is our personal responsibility what’s going to happen in the next few days. Now is the moment to take the initiative. We, as company executives, need to take responsible decisions. So, how do we at Telenor respond to the situation? Sometimes you just have to step out of the line…

  • On Friday, we shut our HQ in Törökbálint – and ordered home office for all. For the time being, we’re not aware of any colleague tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Shop staff were provided with protective gear, we implemented protective measures, elaborated quarantine rules, and are evaluating how to let people stay at home, if necessary, on an individual basis.
  • Those in critical positions are not allowed to use public transport. We use pool cars, our own taxi service, or rely on help from colleagues in their transportation.
  • We didn’t order unpaid leave, ordinary leave, absence, downtime or sick leave. We implemented a home office regime instead.
  • We ask everybody to perform to the best of their abilities. We are doing our best when it comes to providing colleagues with technology and support. We are ready to reallocate job responsibilities, if necessary. And we also accept that KPIs can now be fulfilled differently.

In addition to the above general measures, we have also leveraged colleagues’ creativity and joined forces to take the following actions:

  • At the HQ, the kitchen will continue to operate. Meal ordering and home delivery has been organized for colleagues which means that restaurant staff will not lose their jobs. As a result, they have to leave their home to go shopping less often and they will also have to cook less. It is a major load-off for colleagues with children. And they can also support those in need living in their environment (e.g. their parents and grandparents).
  • Some people will surely find it more difficult than others to cope with the difficulties of the days to come. We have volunteer coaches and psychologists available to provide them with support and consultation.
  • We’ve also organized internal community support for those who need it. Some people are looking for devices for homeschooling while others have unneeded laptops at home. We help them find each other through coordinating supply and demand. We also assist those who need a mobile phone, home delivery etc.
  • With the team of Telenor’s digital education programme, HiperSuli and digital teachers, we published recommendations for parents and teachers in just 24 hours after the announcement of school closures:
  • Telenor provides 100GB of extra data to all customers: With this, we provide valuable support to Telenor customers and family members included in their family tariffs, as everybody use their mobile phone and mobile internet a lot now.

Given all the above, I’m immensely proud of my colleagues and fellow executives. It’s amazing what they’ve done in terms of decisions and actions these days. And you know what? This is what our employer brand is about. WE ALSO ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE THE INITIATIVE! Face reality and take action. Do what you can inside and outside your companies. If you are invited to collaborate, don’t let yourselves be distracted by superficialities. You should evaluate whether an initiative makes sense, whether it helps people live a dignified life until we can stop the coronavirus. Solidarity and responsibility – this is the motto of the fight against the coronavirus” – said Judit Endrei-Kiss, Chief HR Officer of Telenor Hungary.