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By Emanuela Dini, PR Manager Italy, Top Employers Institute
By Emanuela Dini, PR Manager Italy, Top Employers Institute

How Top Employers Italy join the fight against COVID-19

Coronavirus pandemic has affected and upset our lives, and this unprecedented situation calls for enormous efforts of adaptability, resilience, creativity and flexibility, not only at personal and professional level, but also in the corporate field.

In this upended landscape, Top Employers Italy 2020 have proven to be excellent in their entirety and to be able to quickly adapt and transform their sectors in the emergency status.

  • Internally, in terms of HR strategies and actions towards their own people, they quickly adopted important organizational transformations (smartworking, family bonuses, organizational flexibility, security controls ...) to protect the health and safety of their employees.
  • Externally, towards the society, they have gearing themselves up for the community through concrete and solidarity actions, bringing into life to that virtuous circle which is the very essence of being a Top Employer. They all acted responsibly to give life and meaning to the "For a better world of work", where the "world" is no longer about work only, but is the whole world, hit by an unprecedented emergency, to be faced together, looking at the common good.

This is what the over 1600 Top Employers around the world are doing now, through initiatives and attitudes of adaptability and responsibility that are not only about business, but also sustainability and solidarity.

Here are the concrete examples of the Top Employers Italy 2020 who put their skills and knowledge at the disposal of society at large.

Pharmaceutical: immediate activation

  • Novartis has donated up to 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to support the global pandemic response. In Italy, the company launched the campaign called “Per un’ Italia a prova di futuro” (For a future-proof Italy) to already focus the attention on the restart. Novartis promoted the BioUpper open innovation platform and a Call to Action for innovators and startups aimed to identify solutions that can help the health emergency management; and build the long-term project called “Valore alla Scienza” (Value to Science) to enhance scientific knowledge among the new generations and promote research, development and innovation. The project will enable young people to enjoy free access to training and education places and science content.
  • Sanofi is contributing to the development and delivery of a vaccine for COVID-19 but in the meantime takes the field with the initiative #SanofiActs that, among many initiatives, provides the production of two types of disinfectant solution: one is for sanitize environments and roads, the other one is specific for hands according to the formula indicated by the WHO. There will be produced more than 10 tons per week, which will be donated to the General Crisis Committee of the Fire Brigade and Civil Protection during the whole emergency period.
  • Angelini has made more than 40,000 bottles of Amuchina gel available since the first days of the emergency; the company immediately supported Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome with a donation of 1 million euros and launched a podcast called “La Grande Incertezza” (The Big Uncertainty) which is about psychological issues. The podcast also includes an internal multimedia communication band dedicated to Angelini’s employees characterized by video-pills, newsletters and insights to stay up-to-date, focused, curious and connected.
  • Chiesi Farmaceutici from the beginning of the pandemic has donated 50,000 bottles of sanitizing gel to public transport and respirators for hospitals; has activated a fund of 3 million euros to be allocated to the donation of individual protective devices, lung ventilators and sanitizing gels to hospitals and institutions. In addition to this fund, donations of respiratory diseases drugs have been made to Italian and Chinees hospitals having hard times.
  • Roche developed Elecsys, a serological test to detect the presence of antibodies against Coronavirus in patients exposed to the infection. The test will be available in early May in all European Union countries. In the meantime, through the initiative called “Roche si fa in 4” (“Roche bending over backwards”), the company supports targeted emergency actions: the free distribution of antiviral drugs, the donation of 1 million euros in protective equipment for intensive care, the voluntary operation with 250 specially trained Roche employees responding to the Ministry of Health's emergency number and the "Stay home, read a book" - a project aimed at young people under 25.

Automotive: transformative move

  • Ferrari promptly equipped itself to help fight the pandemic. The motorhomes, used by drivers and staff during the Formula 1 races, have been converted into field hospitals and spaces in order to perform tampons to people, while all the workshops have been made available for the repair of ambulances. The automotive company signed agreements and made available specialized personnel to help produce parts for lung respirators and ventilators; while inside the Maranello plant it has started the production of valves for lung respirators and fittings for protective masks which, with the coordination of the Civil Protection, will be distributed to various Italian hospitals.
  • Lamborghini has converted some departments of its production plant for the production of surgical masks and medical protective visors. At the saddlery, the department dedicated to the interior and customization of the Lamborghini cars, 1,000 masks are made per day. At the same time, 200 polycarbonate medical protective visors are produced within the composite production plant and in the Research and Development department with the help of 3D printers.
  • Volkswagen has assembled a task force to use its over 125 3D printers for the production of lung ventilators and other life-saving equipment. Furthermore, the company had the courage and sensitivity to modify his logo to adapt it and make it an appeal to the social safety distance, absolutely necessary to stem the spread of the virus. And so, he spaced the letters V W of his brand, to recall the concept of social distancing in complete safety.

Distribution: new customer attention

  • Esselunga has boosted services and created an App to shorten queues waiting: customers now download a number indicating the time slot for entrying to the supermarket. The company also organize differentiated queues for the over 65s, pregnant women and disabled people, and provide discounts for families in difficulty. The supermarket chain also has set up a 10 million euros fund to help people in difficulty, and another fund of 5 million euros to support the scientific research in some Italian hospitals.
  • Carrefour has adopted an initiative to block prices, reserve entrances and free delivery of grocery shopping for over 60s, and is donating part of each online order to the Italian Civil Protection. The company also contributed with a donation of 500,000 euros to the intensive care units of hospitals basedd in Milan and an endowment of raw materials and meals to field hospitals, to first aid and Italian Civil Protection volunteers. 40 tablets has been delivered to Polyclinic of Milan to allow patients to communicate with their families.
  • Lidl has donated 500,000 euros to all the hospitals on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic, and the Bergamo hospital, which is especially affected by the evolution of the virus. The donation will be used for the purchase of equipment, goods and services and for the implementation of specific initiatives for the improvement of care and assistance activities related to the emergency.

IT: dashboards and crowdfunding

  • SAP has developed a dashboard to analyze the spread of the infection from Coronavirus, to understand extent of the virus and the speed of transmission in Italy and in the world. The company has also set up listening counters for employees who need support because of working stress.
  • Accenture together with the Italian Accenture Foundation donated 100,000 euros for the purchase of urgent medical material and set up Greater than Distance: the crowdfounding institute to support the Italian Red Cross in the purchase of masks, lung fans, bio-containment equipment and other urgent devices.

All concrete examples of social responsibility and flexibility that underline once again how the excellence of Top Employers certified companies extends to the whole corporate culture and goes well beyond the HR sphere. To learn find out more about the latest HR trends and the best practices to enrich the world of work and the impact on society, you can download the HR Trends Report 2020.