As Lenze is also present in China with a production facility and numerous Sales Offices, the company has been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic right from the start. It was therefore clear at an early stage that a supervisory unit was needed to hold the threads together in a globally operating company like Lenze in the light of an exceptional global scenario like Corona.
At the end of February, when the first cases of corona occurred in Northern Italy, the central crisis management team began its work in order to initiate, coordinate and continuously adapt suitable measures worldwide to the dynamic development.
The Lenze crisis team is made up of firmly designated representatives from the HR, Corporate Communications, EHS (Environment, Health & Safety), IT, Operations, Global Supply Chain and Central Sales & Marketing divisions. Depending on how the situation develops, additional employees from other areas are brought in and the circle is thus extended in accordance with the needs. In the regions and in areas such as Supply Chain, Logistics and Production, which are particularly affected by the effects of the pandemic, special crisis teams are also tasked with implementing special operational measures that are adapted to local legislation or specific departmental requirements, for example.
"The headquarters task force can only provide the framework for action in each case and ensure that there is a close coordination between all the departments worldwide. However, the adaptation of the specifications, which often differ greatly from one another, particularly in health protection, must be the responsibility of the responsible colleagues on site in the countries. We have adhered to this and have performed well with it," says Petra Gerweck, who is heading Global HR and is also responsible for the CoVid-19 Task Force. "We were quick and pragmatic in making decisions in the interplay between the headquarters, the countries and individual departments, and in doing so we also demonstrated how digital cooperation works, especially in international companies like Lenze."
According to Petra Gerweck, the pandemic has further accelerated the ongoing transformation process of the company and acted as a catalyst for the new digital work culture. "Now it is up to us to firmly integrate the mechanisms that have proven successful in the crisis into our everyday corporate life and not fall back into old patterns again," Petra Gerweck summarises a central learning.
According to the HR executive, a further success factor of good crisis management is the cooperation with employee representatives. At Lenze too, this was a key element in the success and effectiveness of the task force, as many decisions could be made directly, simply by telephone or video conference, in the interests of the employees.
The coordination rounds that were initially convened daily or, in the case of special challenges, also on an ad hoc basis, have now become routine work that accompanies the pandemic. However, even though the way the crisis management team has been working has changed continuously since the beginning of the pandemic, the primary objective remains unaltered: to protect the health of the people in the company, but also of customers and partners, and to prevent any damage to Lenze.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Task Force has received over 1,000 requests from employees and many, many telephone of calls of colleagues seaking guidance. This is a classic, because in every crisis in particular the need for internal information increases rapidly and must be satisfied quickly and continuously.