In my job, as a EHS Leader for FieldCore in Europe, together with the EHS team, I have a privilege to support the day to day work life of ~2500 our employees doing all we can to ensures they go home safely every day. The majority of our field teams work on the front line at our customers sites across Europe, mainly power stations. Our field teams work in what can be a hazardous environment, they perform high risk activities every single day, they work away from home and often cross borders taking them outside of their home country.
In this article I would like to share a few things that I learnt during 2020. Not so much from a COVID-19 point of view but from how the teams around me adapted and stood up to be counted during this very distracting period.
Share #1 – The EHS Team Around Me
As my own time was diverted towards this growing pandemic, I needed to be sure that the key day to day tasks that an EHS Lead needs to deliver are indeed delivered. I was totally amazed how the EHS team around me stood up to support. I was impresses by their acceptance of responsibility or about their step change in decision making. I learnt that during the toughest times so many people in the team found a new gear, discovered a heightened level of confidence, became willing to take on more responsibility and displayed behaviours that took distractions off my table. Many people in the team really showed their metal, they gave me a very real insight into the meaning of “a team” and I am thankful for having them around.
Share #2 – The Pace At Which We Can Learn Is Astonishing
FieldCore has good, dedicated people who manage COVID-19 related processes. It was impressive how they got up to speed and shared reliable, informative information as the Pandemic started. A key part of my role was to take their guidance and use it to steer and inform our teams who are dispersed across 25 countries in Europe. We created a communication and engagement platform to help everyone become informed and stay abreast the latest reliable information. These remain in place today to ensure we stay connected to everyone, to ensure we hear what our teams have to say, what concerns or questions they may have and we continue to support them in this difficult times. I learnt that FieldCore is full of people willing to listen, willing to learn and willing to be informed.
Share #3 – Changes in Mindsets That Enables Us To Continue To Work With Confidence
Two key phrases that FieldCore use really stick out to me from 2020. The first one is “Keeping the Power On”. Very soon we realized how important our field service teams are, they are the people who support our customers every day making sure that key services such as hospitals can operate with a reliable supply of electricity. This phrase became so important to everyone in FieldCore, our teams recognized that during this global crisis we are indeed essential workers with huge responsibility to “keep the power on”. This phrase created a mindset change within the entire company, our thinking went from the initial “this can’t be done” to the current “we can and we will do this”. The second phrase was “COVID, the new norm”. At the beginning, no-one was ready to accept the fact that COVID-19 would be here for the long run, our internal terminology leaned towards phrases like “once this has passed” and “back to normal soon”. This type of thinking was natural but, it was also short sighted, and it would not prepare us for the long run. The term “COVID the new norm” brought a sobering realism into the business, very soon our planning cycles and future predictions went far beyond the near future – this phrase re-introduced longer term strategic thinking into our decision making and took us away from a period of tactical re-active thinking.
I’m sure many reading this post will have similar reflections on how COVID-19 impacted their work life, no doubt there are many more varied and more powerful examples of how you have coped and adapted
Final message – There is now hope that a path forward is within reach, I urge us all to stay focused, do not relax too early. We are not out of this yet, we are simply entering a new phase