In every crisis, there is opportunity. Averis has emerged from the COVID-19 crisis as a much stronger team, identified opportunities, planned ahead.

20 June 2020

COVID-19 has left us rethinking about our risk management capabilities and our businesses’ readiness to deal with having the entire workforce working remotely.

Q: What do you think this crisis has taught you and the Averis team?

PK: At Averis, we put our people first, and It is no coincidence that we have always been advocating “Connectedness” as an integral part of the work culture. The relationships built in the office and the bonds forged has played an imperative role during the MCO. Despite the absence of physical contact, our team members adjusted quickly to the virtual work environment. We are comfortable and confident to speak up during phone or video discussions with one another.

This crisis has taught us many important lessons, and I believe the most significant lessons are:

Leadership matters
and this is not just the management team. It extends to all of us playing different but similarly important roles at different levels in the organisation. We need to constantly be thinking on our feet, have the ability to deal with ambiguity and always be ready to change or to adapt to changes. In a nutshell, leadership – especially self-leadership – is vital for everyone to be effective and successful.

Communications and over-communicating
Losing the ability to read body language and facial expressions calls for a whole new approach to communications. We need to be prepared to address tough issues, and be more open than ever in soliciting feedback and encouraging the desired engagement in our communications.

is one that goes without saying. Take care of your people and they will take care of your business. Empathy is essential to keeping the team motivated, focused and strong. Even little things like alleviating the smallest of their concerns help strengthen the connections and keep the team going.

Leveraging on technology
is key to bringing everything together. It underpins most, if not all, of our business processes and the work that we do. We should not fear technology and the changes that it brings. Instead, we should embrace the advances in technology and learn how to manage and capitalise on it.

Q: What are the changes that MCO has brought upon the team at Averis? Will this be carried on after the MCO is completely lifted? How is this going to change the way Averians work moving forward?

PK: In every crisis there is opportunity. As cliché as it sounds, it is very true. We have overcome numerous challenges over the MCO and Conditional MCO. We have learnt a lot as an individual and as a team, identified our gaps and have certainly closed a good number of those gaps. There are many lessons and some of them should be influential in the way we work post-MCO.

We have marked several areas of significance for post-MCO considerations, one of which is the enhancement and upgrading of our infrastructure and security measures to enable greater speed and agility in responding to every distinctive scenario possible in a Business Continuity Plan. The next thing would be changes and opportunities in our work environment. We will look at how we can capitalise on the planned improvements in infrastructure to benefits Averians and our work lives. Of course, we will also be addressing the gaps and opportunities surfaced during the MCO as these are valuable Continuous Improvement opportunities, both for Averians and for our customers.

Furthermore, as this MCO has changed many people’s mindset, values and needs or wants, there needs to be a re-focus on the Human Resource needs of our organization. Our people are one our key priorities and thus their health and safety is imperative to us. As we enter into a new phase of Recovery MCO, Averians will continue to work on minimal essential presence in the office, with social distancing, hygiene measures, temperature checks and other health and safety initiatives remain enforced.

Lastly, I am confident that Averis will emerge from this crisis much stronger, with sharper focus and stronger bonds among our work and home families.