The impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt in every aspect of our lives, wherever we are in the world. How each individual, business, and nation responds to this crisis is critical, and will define us for years to come. As I join many others in the toughest test yet of my leadership skills, I have never been more aware of my own personal responsibility to the people of Arcadis Gen, and to the customers that we serve.
The decision to put boldness, agility and global inclusivity at the heart of our culture has prepared us for this moment. It is with these values front of mind that we are facing this crisis at Arcadis Gen – to support our people, their families, our customers and our global communities through these extraordinary times.
Supporting our customers
We love meeting our customers and ecosystem partners in person, but as a digital business we also know there are lots of ways we can continue to collaborate virtually. We’re approaching this situation as an opportunity to test the boundaries of virtual working and get creative with collaboration.
We are committed to supporting our customers through this period. This doesn’t just mean continuing to deliver on our commitments; it also means doing everything we can to help them understand and respond to the operational and commercial impacts of this pandemic. That is why we have pivoted some of our people to actively explore innovative ways we can support our customers during this time. I’m thrilled with the enthusiasm and inventiveness with which our people have risen to the challenge – from simply acting as a sounding board for our customers, or offering to share lessons on virtual collaboration, to applying their analytics and development expertise to create new ways to help the industry make sense of its data. We’ll share more about these activities over the coming weeks.
Complete flexibility for our people
Each of us is facing a unique challenge; whether it’s adjusting to homeworking, taking on additional parental responsibilities, supporting vulnerable people in our communities, or simply protecting our own physical and mental wellbeing. My commitment to everyone at Arcadis Gen is one of complete flexibility to work how and when best suits them. As an inclusive organization, it is vital that we allow each individual the flexibility to be able to make the right choices for themselves and their family. This might be adopting flexible working hours, taking annual leave as they need it, or simply acknowledging the challenge of temporarily sharing our working spaces with housemates, cats and kids.
Supporting each other
In return I’ve asked our people to bring the same flexibility to how they approach work. Since we launched, we’ve been building a culture of agility – nurturing the ability to pivot at pace, to ensure we’re all focused on the right activities at the right time – and this agility has never been more relevant. We are asking each of our people to become extra responsive and supportive of each other – this might mean focusing on something new, taking on someone else’s responsibilities or approaching a task in a creative, virtual way.
There are lots of ways we’re helping each other through this time – our people are enthusiastically sharing everything from home-schooling advice to photos of their new office mates (some furry, some still in nappies) on our COVID Support Slack channel. We’re running digital forums to discuss strategies for being part of a successful virtual team, and this week our leadership team had our inaugural virtual pub quiz!
I’m incredibly proud of the commitment, resilience and spirit of our people. The way ahead will not be easy, but I know we’ll come out of this even bolder and more inclusive than ever before.