Dominique Ramelet, the usual day-to-day work has been turned upside down by the Corona crisis. How did Netcetera manage the transition to a lockdown?
Netcetera was well prepared for the transition to home office. Our Crisis Management Team (a team that has been rehearsing crisis operations for many years) was active back in February and ensured that all operational aspects were not affected by the almost complete virtualization of the company. As a service provider in the international payment industry (one of our most important business areas), Netcetera fulfills an important function in processing cashless payments. In this critical segment, the continuity of our services for our customers was safeguarded at all times.
The move to a home office was not a challenge for our employees, neither in terms of infrastructure nor organization. Netcetera has been promoting "work where you are" for years, therefore the current 99 percent home office presence was just a matter of scaling.
To what extent has Netcetera's day-to-day work changed?
It is interesting to see that besides the obvious aspects (videoconferencing etc.), the organization's self-perception is changing. As an internationally active company with 14 branches worldwide, we see our Netceterians moving closer together. We live in a time of equidistance – each person is exactly one virtual arm length away from the next person. Geographical barriers no longer exist. This leads to new opportunities for cultural and methodological development.
What challenges are associated with the changes in everyday working life?
Essentially, we as HR professionals are concerned with two important challenges: on the one hand, the well-being of the individual and, on the other, replacing communication structures that no longer exist. Here we focus on the initialization of new opportunities such as virtual events or initiatives to promote the sharing and discussion of experiences. We also understand that the importance of transparent communication has increased.
The well-being of the individual is of course of great importance, but well-being is difficult to measure, which means some gaps are inevitable. It is therefore important that we all take care of ourselves and actively approach each other. The social climate in our organization has helped to make this happen in a quasi swarm-intelligent way.
As CHRO of Netcetera, how do you handle the new working conditions?
It is nice to observe that as an organization we are perceived by our employees as a stabilizing element in Corona everyday life. And we do our utmost to promote this relationship in all its manifestations.
How does Netcetera make sure that positive aspects of the Corona crisis are assimilated?
We already know that the crisis is accelerating our development. The coming "new normal" will be driven by a clearer understanding of the importance of values, culture and also self-organization – themes that we as a company have been adressing for some time and now prove to be more important than ever.
Teams emancipate themselves and better understand their unexploited potential for self-organization and development. And by actively promoting the sharing of new insights we increase the speed of our continuous improvement.
As an HR department, we see ourselves as being in charge of actively support and promote such developments. This is a journey and we are learning every day.