Employers who did best during the pandemic: The first recipients of the Excellence During Challenges award announced
At the end of April, SELECTIO launched the Excellence During Challenges project. It is a recognition for quality management of employees in unpredictable circumstances that SELECTIO awards with the aim of promoting quality human resource management in uncertain and challenging times, such as the recent and still current coronavirus crisis.
In order for an employer to become a holder of this recognition, they must go through an independent evaluation of the HR practices they conducted during the crisis, and through an assessment of how agile they were, how they organized work and communicated with employees during the crisis, what was done to ensure the physical health, safety and well-being of employees and how technologically prepared the company was during the pandemic.
SELECTIO announced the first recipients of the Excellence During Challenges award:
- A1 Hrvatska
- Erste&Steiermärkische Bank
- Kaufland Hrvatska
Aleksandar Zemunić, member of the Management Board of SELECTIO, noted: „The aim of this project is to reward those employers who employ the world's best practices during challenging times and who have demonstrated that during the coronavirus crisis they launched laudable initiatives to ensure the well-being of their employees. For example, all awarded employers provided the option to work from home to all employees whose nature of work allowed it, they communicated transparently with their employees, supported their employees in various ways, and most of them offered additional benefits. These organizations will be happy to share their employee management practices with others, helping the whole community to overcome the challenges that still lie ahead.“
During this challenging period, A1 has shown care for employee welfare by launching various initiatives and practices, such as financial assistance for employees whose housing was damaged in the earthquake, online stories for employees' children, development of an activity guide for children and parents, Mindfulness program and weekly virtual hangout #StayConnected Talks. The quality of the introduced practices is evidenced by the fact that A1 employees, according to the results of the employee satisfaction survey conducted in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, have increased engagement, motivation and confidence in leadership.
At Erste Bank, they emphasize that they are most proud of the togetherness and team spirit, which have been further strengthened in these special circumstances. During the epidemic, which was further aggravated by the earthquake, they tried to make everyday life as easy as possible for their employees. In addition to regular and transparent communication on an intranet platform, psychological assistance was organized for employees, and then financial assistance for all those affected by the earthquake. As an employer, the bank covered the costs of three-month rent for all employees who had to move out of their homes, and an internal fund was organized through which, in addition to the employer, all employees had the opportunity to financially assist their colleagues. Still, the biggest pride are the employees who worked in the branches all the time and made sure that the clients get the service they expect and deserve.
At Kaufland, they point out that they provided all employees in branches and logistics with all the necessary protective equipment and that they introduced a monthly corona reward of HRK 500 net during the three months of the crisis, in order to let employees know how much they value their contribution. During the corona crisis, starting in March, Kaufland has increased the net income for its non-managerial employees through a new monthly net sum of HRK 300. Due to the special circumstances related to the coronavirus outbreak during the last couple of months, health care has become a particularly important and ubiquitous topic, and to support its employees when it comes to health care, Kaufland has prepared a convenient healthy vitamin gift package for all employees. Kaufland greatly appreciates the exceptional efforts of all employees during the corona crisis period. In addition, Kaufland donated HRK 500 000 to help hospitals, redirected the fruit and vegetables they usually donated to schools to the Croatian Red Cross, and additionally enabled domestic producers to place their products on Kaufland's shelves.
In sister companies Njuškalo and Trikoder they point out that, in addition to all other adjustments and initiatives they have introduced, such as digitalized onboarding, free psychological help programs for employees, Mindfulness workshops, weekly counselling for leaders and "Back to office" HR talk, they are especially proud of the initiative of the online Njuškalo's stories for children of the employees. The Njuškalo mascot read stories to the employees' children through an online platform, thus transmitting the values they nurture in the company, which are respect, respect for diversity, helping, and caring for others. The Njuškalo mascot had the task of entertaining the children with interesting stories and giving them tasks in an interesting way through which they helped their parents at home.