For a 13000 strong Field Service workforce, executing hundreds of outages, construction and projects in 50+ countries, A day at FieldCore for EHS is never devoid of challenges. For an organization that defines its best day as “A day when all employees go home safely”; COVID-19 posed additional set of challenges to make every day a “Best Day” for FieldCore.
FieldCore team has been confronting COVID issues since 6th February in Various parts of the world. It has been quite successful in maintaining the continuity of its services and execute outages for our end customers in most of the cases. The organization has learnt a lot by sharing best practices and responding in a “simple, nimble, fast” way to ever changing situations.
There are a few key aspects of how FieldCore continues to respond to the challenge.
Informing the employees – Continuously keep the employees updated about the global trends, specific trends in their current location, advisories from CDC, WHO, and other ongoing research commentaries. This helped the employees get up to speed on a daily basis and reassured that FieldCore had the situation under watch at all times.
Two-way open Communication – Very early on, two-way communication channels were established. Using Social Media, FieldCore Now! App, a dedicated portal for COVID-19 updates, specific communication channel for Field Supervisors are just a few examples. Frequent “all-hands meetings” led by FieldCore CEO and a daily update e mail to all employees added transparency to the approach. A dedicated hotline for all employees to discuss COVID-19 related medical issues, in addition to tele-a-doc system, also proved very helpful in resolving employee anxiety.
Helping our “Essential Workers” succeed in the field : Systems, Processes and Tools – FieldCore employees, by nature of their work to keep the Power Plants operating, are categorized as “essential employees” in most of the countries. These field employees continue to be our “heroes”. As they are facing challenging situations, the operations and EHS team have stepped up to ensure they have the right tools, field procedures and can depend on the processes (sourcing, mobilization, travel etc.) that can help them diminish the risks. A detailed COVID-19 response plan, updated almost weekly, supplemented by a robust Field Execution procedure integrates various aspects of the operations. These are shared transparently with the customers to ensure the customers understand the FieldCore work methods. Any deviation required from these processes needs to be risk weighted and approved at a much higher level in the organization.
Empowering the Employees – The field employees are being trained on the revised procedures through frequent contact sessions. Technology is being used to replace “in-person” contact wherever possible. Hundreds of field visits by experts for auditing or field service purposes were replaced by remote operational support. Most importantly, the employees are empowered to “Stop Work” or “refuse deployment” if they perceive excessive risk at a particular job site. There have been occasions where our crew walked off the site and returned back only after the situation was remedied.
Encouraging Healthy Habits – It is difficult to be away from families in unfamiliar places while working through very demanding physical and mental activity. People need to relax during their off-hours. During COVID-19, more than ever, FieldCore has been creating awareness and setting up expectations on people’s personal behaviors. Social distancing, mental well-being, maintainining physical fitness, managing stress are just some of the areas where employees are encouraged to practice good habits.
These efforts have yielded excellent results. So far, less than 100 employees have got infected (confirmed / suspected) with COVID-19 virus and almost 45% have already recovered. That is impressive for a large team with such a global exposure.
Like all the other organizations, FieldCore is now facing a challenge to cope up with managing the workforce exposure as countries start opening up and customers fill-up the pipeline for future outages. Here is how FieldCore plans to deal with these challenges.
Relentless Focus on Safety & Well-being of employees – The practices and systems established and proven helpful during the last few months will continue to be refreshed and enhanced. There is nothing more important in FieldCore than “all employees going home safely every day”.
Proactively manage emerging risks – As COVID-19 is likely to result in wave 2 or wave 3 spread, the team is focused on keeping abreast of developing trends and manage the deployment and response proportionate to these emerging risks. Daily tracking of work activities with a 3 – 6 month futuristic window is essential. The systems and processed in FieldCore enable the organization to accomplish it consistently.
Continuing to communicate – With more and more external data being available, the information overload can be overwhelming for individual employees. Hence, open and transparent communication will continue to play a key role in ensuring success in future. The COVID Hotline, portal, medical and EAP assistance will continue to be functional till the pandemic gets over.
With its focus on World-Class execution and a culture fostering innovation and collaboration, the confidence in managing COVID-19 issues continues to increase every day in FieldCore.