Surmounting pandemic challenges through leader-employee unity

October 26, 2021 | 17:17
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“Leader engagement in turbulent times is important to spread positive energy to all employees, helping the company to overcome all difficulties,” said Tran Uyen Phuong, deputy CEO of Tan Hiep Phat Group, a leading beverage group in Vietnam, at a recent event themed on energy management during the stormy time.
Surmounting pandemic challenges through leader-employee unity
Deputy CEO Tran Uyen Phuong and other employees at Tan Hiep Phat arrange ‘three-in-one’ scheme at factory site

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated businesses across the board. Many localities throughout the country are exercising stiff social distancing measures in light of the government’s Directive 16, including the southern province of Binh Duong, the home location of Tan Hiep Phat’s factory, where restrictions have been in place since July 9.

As a producer of essential goods, the Tan Hiep Phat factory has fortunately been one of those allowed to continue production under the "work on the spot" scheme.

“Continuing production amid pandemic is a stimulus to the organisation. Labourers are more enthusiastic when they are compatible with not only the organisation, but also the community,” said Tran Uyen Phuong. “Our company spares no efforts to surmount this challenging time, and we keep physical and mental safety top of mind at all times. Speed is of the essence but it is more important to keep people positive and motivated, especially when we are surrounded by negativity.”

Sharing and listening to employees are what Tran Uyen Phuong and Tan Hiep Phat’s Board of Directors have been doing to lead the company through this stormy time.

Cultivating a "nothing is impossible" mindset

Surmounting pandemic challenges through leader-employee unity
Tan Hiep Phat carries out 'three-in-one’ scheme to maintain production

“Nothing is impossible” and 'Today is better than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow' have been core to Tan Hiep Phat's employee philosophy and came to the fore during social distancing. All employees have grown accustomed to working under new circumstances and have been striving for optimal efficiency.

Amid difficulties, employees are pursuing innovation to both satisfy 5K requirements and ensure work efficiency. Tan Hiep Phat’s canteen has quickly resumed operation and is now working around the clock as part of the workforce is now working night shifts. The cooks are also trying to make meals exciting and nutritional, trying to give workers a taste of home-made meals to ease homesickness.

At Tan Hiep Phat, the employees and labourers have been invited to join an array of creative activities such as writing music and stories, donating gifts during social distancing which help employees’ spirit to overcome difficulties.

“I was so surprised when we received a batch of face masks donated to our Binh Duong factory by a factory based in Ha Nam province. This made the employees and workers of the Binh Duong factory very happy and motivated them a great deal,” Phuong recalled.

Leadership engagement is important

Surmounting pandemic challenges through leader-employee unity
Tan Hiep Phat cares for smallest things for the employees in pandemic time

Phuong believes leadership is essential to fostering connectivity and a sense of sharing across an organisation.

“We always care about the feelings of every worker, from those at the production lines to stevedores or warehouse staff, leaving no one behind. A leader must be present during a pandemic crisis,” she noted.

Promoting solidarity is the valued tradition of the Vietnamese. At Tan Hiep Phat, spiritual engagement is held at high regard, paired with regular presence of leadership members to brace up the labourers’ spirit.

Solidarity is an important Vietnamese value. At Tan Hiep Phat, spiritual engagement is also held in high regard, along with the regular presence of leadership members to brace employees' spirit.

“Family meals are very important in Vietnamese culture. The workers who stay at a factory to maintain production under the 'stay at work' scheme miss their family very much. The presence of the company’s leadership to encourage them is therefore very important,” said Phuong.

“Several employees have sacrificed their individual needs for the sake of the organisation. Our management listens to and shares the feelings of labourers. Enhanced engagement is important at this point of time to achieve the dual target of containing the pandemic and stabilising production.”

"Facing challenges will make us stronger," the leader added. "Together we can overcome any hardship and we cannot waste time in growing up to the task and step into the future.”

By Hai Minh

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