Be ready when the Pandemic strikes
How to anticipate and mitigate the effects of a crisis
As the safety and wellbeing of our employees and of the communities in which we operate are among our highest priorities, over the past five years we complemented our Risk Management activities with a comprehensive crisis preparedness approach. Crisis management is today an integral part of our safety culture and of our responsibility towards stakeholders such as our employees, local communities, customers and suppliers. Crisis management has become a highly strategic top down activity which directly involves the Group’s top management. It requires a prepared, competent and close-knit team, as well as advanced planning and ongoing training to anticipate and mitigate the effects and consequences a crisis could have.
Facing a pandemic crisis: transparency, accuracy, efficiency, speed and responsibility
We operate with a core Crisis Management Team which holds responsibility for establishing and maintaining a “crisis sensitive culture”. It reports to the Board of Directors and overseas preparedness and training at all levels of the organization. It also guides the Group’s response to unexpected critical events. Its yearly preparedness programs follow a continuous improvement approach aimed at constantly raising the “bar” and at refining existing procedures and stimulate the ability to “think”.
The Lamberti Group crisis management framework had been extensively tested in simulations and put to work in the past during minor incidents but the novel coronavirus offered us the opportunity to actually use it “in action”.
The value of preparation became all too clear when at the onset of the Covid-19 we were among the first companies in Italy to face potential Covid cases among our employees and had to quickly evaluate the situation and take action despite the lack of information. At times of crisis we find inspiration in 5 guiding principles: transparency, accuracy, efficiency, speed and responsibility.
Our Crisis Management Team quickly activated and worked throughout the crisis to anticipate events. Direct line of communications were established and maintained with all relevant stakeholders. Employees, trade unions, local authorities including mayors, local communities, suppliers and customers were constantly kept up to date with company decisions and initiatives. Health related measures were devised and quickly introduced company wide to protect employees and their families. This often ahead of national and regional directives and regulations. DPIs were sourced well ahead of time and supplied to both our employees and local authorities. The “Lamberti Alert System”, our internal crisis communications system was activated to keep employees worldwide informed about decisions taken by the Crisis Management Team throughout the pandemic. We also established a psychological support telephone line free of charge for employees in Italy and their families.
In rough seas, the crew makes the difference
As the first month passed the situation in Northern Italy became dramatic especially in the Bergamo area, where we operate one of our plants. We therefore maintained constant communications with our plant manager there and organized for our Chief Operating Officer to visit employees to show support and empathy.
As Italy was one of the countries hit early and hard, we put the lessons learnt to good use internationally. Our Crisis Management Team operating at the company’s HQ provided timely information and support to all our international subsidiaries recommending actions and procedures to be followed to ensure maximum safety for our employees.
Mental preparation was the determining factor that allowed our Crisis Management Team to successfully navigate this crisis. According to Patrick Balletto “the «crisis sensitive culture» we have developed over the past five years and our determination to invest in crisis preparedness proved to be crucial in helping us manage the crisis. Crisis management is today an integral part of the Lamberti Group’s approach to sustainability and corporate responsibility”.