Sustainability in action
COVID-19: Putting people first
When coronavirus began affecting our industry in January 2020, we responded quickly, establishing a set of global principles that put the health and wellbeing of our people first.
We established a global steering committee and a set of guiding principles around which our local leaders created bespoke plans for each region and office. Ensuring each could do what was right and safe for our people and aligned with their local government policies.
We acted swiftly to provide consistent and locally relevant communication to our teams around the world, via a COVID-19 resource hub, daily emails, and streamed ‘town halls’ ensured open lines of conversation with our leaders. With a focus on removing anxiety and supporting physical and mental wellbeing, our teams made sure that every person was kept updated with relevant and engaging information and had regular contact with their colleagues.
Supported by our flexible working policy and technology infrastructure, we adopted a person-led plan for those who wanted additional assistance. This ranged from daily wellbeing stories and learning ‘hugs’, online yoga classes and workshops, as well as learning to embrace with humour and kindness the many challenges that befall home schooling whilst working from home. All of these activities are contributing towards helping our teams feel valued and respected.
We changed our leave policy to ensure that anybody with a confirmed – or suspected – case of COVID-19 could have an additional 14 days paid leave with no requirement to use sick leave. Furthermore, we are also allowing our people to carry over unspent 2020 annual leave to 2021 so that nobody loses valuable holiday time.
Throughout the pandemic our scientific and logistics teams have been able to continue their vital work with the support of our Health and Safety teams who are ensuring that every precaution necessary is in place to keep everyone safe. We have been able to continue to serve customers, a number of whom are actively involved in efforts to develop diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Nobody in the business has been furloughed.
Our engagement score has increased during the pandemic and the impact of our approach was further recognized when our people scored our leadership. With a score of 94%, Glassdoor has ranked our CEO leadership 2nd highest rated in the UK.
We’re proud of how our people are responding to the pandemic and as it progresses, we continue to be agile, put our people first, and adapt as the situation evolves.
Jue (Jade) Zhang
General Manager of Abcam in Shanghai