My Dear Colleagues
I wanted to reach out to you again, keep the communication lines open and reiterate my pledge that the health, safety and security of our employees, as well as our associates, customers and communities remain priority for our Crisis Management and Business Continuity Team.
These are extraordinary times that are certainly testing our collective will, but what I have noticed more than ever, is that it is also bringing out the best in our collective humanity.
Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the virus either directly or indirectly. At the same time, our hearts also go out to those at the front line, medical staff and caregivers who put themselves at risk to all it takes to serve others.
You would have already witnessed the measures implemented by the Group all in an effort to ensure your health and safety, whilst we battle the scourge of COVID-19, taking guidance from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Security, the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organisation and official localities where we work.
The more change we confront, the more important it is to understand how our people are feeling and adjusting to what may seem like a new normal on a daily basis. Trust me when I say that all of us are adapting to different work and collaboration models and experiences, so you are not alone.
I understand that many of you may be feeling isolated as we are being encouraged to distance ourselves from others and all community events are cancelled. But I encourage you to continue to find ways to connect with your ANSA McAL colleagues, and with your loved ones during this time. Let’s use technology to our advantage. Make a phone call, video chat with a friend, spend time with your child doing art projects, making music, enjoying movies and just talking.
Emotional wellness is just as important as physical well-being. As you take precautions to keep your family physically healthy, I am also urging you to take at least a moment for yourself. Families in Action is our official EAP provider and support is available via email [email protected] or you can call their 24hr Helpline (868) 628 2333 or your designated in-country local affiliate: Barbados: (246) 418 6634 or (246) 424 0449; Grenada: (473) 410 1116; Guyana: (592) 686 5154 or (592) 629 0809; Jamaica: (876) 869 7657; St Kitts: (869) 662 4491 and USA: (305) 697 2787. OR you can log on to https://myeap.familiesinaction.net/ with your username: ansamcal and password: MyEAP2019. Alternatively, please reach out to any of our Sector HR Manager or, if you are in Head Office, Vanessa Smith.
Spirituality plays an important part in getting us through the day and on Wednesday 25th March 2020, we started a prayer session on Facebook live, not just for our ANSA McAL family, but for everyone to join in. Our very own, Maria Neilson led the gathering. This session will continue every Wednesday for the next 10 weeks and I encourage you all to participate in prayer.
Furthermore, to care for the sick and to protect the most vulnerable requires all our care. Therefore, we have taken a decision that through Standard Distributors Ltd, the Group will donate 300 mattresses to the Ministry of Health, who will then assign to the Regional Health Authorities. This exercise is being coordinated by Standard Distributors Ltd, Group Corporate Communications Unit and Mr Stewart Smith, Senior Health Systems Advisor at the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, on Friday 27th March 2020. Other opportunities to lend support across the region are continually being evaluated.
Ours is a fearless Group with a 140-year legacy to maintain and with continued mastery of our destiny. I want to reassure you that the ANSA McAL Leadership and everyone else involved are charting the unexplored course of minimizing the disruption to the way we work and furthermore using this time to innovate and position ourselves for an even more rewarding future.
We have deepened the new ways of working that I previously described and added a few more to our game plan:
Given the fluidity of the situation, the ANSA McAL Crisis Management and Business Continuity Team conduct virtual meetings every morning at 9.00 a.m. to monitor the status of our businesses, discuss risks and solutions and offer support and guidance to team member across the Group.
All areas of commercial activity across the Group, inclusive of meetings are on-going, utilising Skype and Microsoft Teams.
Head of Legal and Corporate Secretary, Mrs Frances Bain-Cumberbatch and her team, continue to work on a critical plan that will ensure uninterrupted provision of services to the population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Group Finance is forging ahead with our subsidiaries to complete our annual audit and it will be delivered on time.
In the Construction Sector, Technical Staff are undergoing online training and development courses. Experienced Technicians on machine components are also developing online modules for the younger operators.
In our Beverage Sector, union consultations between the NUGFW and CBL are advancing using a combination of virtual meetings and workplace protocols.
In the Manufacturing Sector negotiations between ANSA Chemicals and the OWTU took place on Tuesday 24th March 2020.
Throughout the Group we have increased our frequency and protocols as to our sanitization process.
Group HR has opened a centralized Redeployment Register on SharePoint to optimise available resources across the Group if necessary.
Group HR is continuing with setting strategic KPI, utilising the balanced scorecard and leading measures, so that we are both resilient and ready. This exercise is being championed by our Group HR Director, Teresa White and her team with nearly 200 Executives across the Group.
We continue to push hard to get all 2019 managerial appraisals complete and incentives paid within record time (staff appraisals and incentives are paid before Christmas, whereas senior staff are paid after the audit is completed).
We are focused on Leadership Development and as such Personal Development Plans are still being implemented within the pre-Coronavirus workplan milestones as promised at our Annual Talent Day.
Group Finance and Group HR redesigned Q1 2020 stock count procedures to ensure compliance with both financial/asset controls and social distancing/workplace hygiene protocols.
Group IT, through Martin Farinha, is working with Digicel in rolling out Bulk SMS. This is expected to be implemented within the next week. Group IT has also developed an ANSA McAL Advisory describing how Cybercriminals are exploiting the coronavirus for Fraud and Profit.
I hold firm to the adage that no crisis should ever be wasted. We have a catalytic opportunity to reimagine new ways of doing business and delivering value to our customers.
We do not yet know with certainty when the greatest risk will be behind us, but I remain confident in the leadership of our regional governments and their frontline Ministries in the handling of the coronavirus.
Now, more than ever, we need to stay calm, purposeful, continue to be resourceful, focus on supporting each other. I have deep faith that the decisions we are making Groupwide are in the best interest of our employees, customers and communities. I also have great belief in our fortitude and resilience.
I remain steadfast that we will get through this TOGETHER.
ANTHONY N. SABGA III
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER