Impact of the crisis: helping to safeguard jobs

A public health crisis, school closures, lockdown: being able to mobilise employees from sites that have been closed to reinforce understaffed teams at others is vitally important for those companies who are Operators of Essential Services (OES). For several weeks, our customers have used Andjaro to ensure business continuity through employment, by using the potential of its platform to internally redeploy willing employees who have become newly available.

How are new customers relying on Andjaro’s team to meet their needs? How are these organisations using software to meet their needs?Justus Geist, Andjaro VP Operations offers his answers.

From the very start of this public health crisis, Andjaro has swung into action to support organisations faced with major operational challenges and to help safeguard jobs. Did you decide to take these steps on your own initiative, or have you responded to meet a demand from your clients?

As soon as we observed the first effects of this public health crisis - the closure of certain sites, a large number of employees being as a consequence, their jobs possibly being at risk in the long term - we decided to act immediately. Because the urgent "reallocation" of personnel from one site to another is one of our typical use cases. We also observed peaks in clients' use of our online platform - as we originally designed it - in order to cope with this unprecedented situation. The decision to take action came from this first observation; our tool can provide an effective response. In these circumstances, Andjaro aims to be a true partner for businesses in need.

As both individuals and as a company, our actions are also underpinned by a desire to contribute to the national effort to tackle this crisis. Also, and I should say, above all. We are extremely grateful for the commitment and dedication of health care workers, and those who have contact with the public on a daily basis. Appreciative and very thankful. To the extent that we are able, within our scope of action, we can help limit the negative impact on employment both for individuals and collectively. Why would we hesitate?

Were you encouraged to take action by the appeal that Cédric O, the French Minister of State for Digital Affairs,made on March 9 to the French Tech ecosystem?

We responded enthusiastically of course. The government's response has been positive for us. Andjaro has been lucky enough to be selected alongside another 20 digital companies from a range of sectors to be included on the website as a service offered to businesses and/or individuals.

Our online platform and its level of resilience are recognized as being highly relevant to Business Continuity Planning (BCP). In practical terms, we are making our tool available very quickly, and we are waiving the implementation costs. The goal is to provide large organisations that need it with a turnkey solution immediately. Those sectors experiencing pressure on their workforce are primarily institutional catering (sites are being repositioned to cater to health care facilities), energy, and services (environmental services and cleaning, surveillance and security, banks and insurance companies). Retail (food businesses) and the construction industry, among others, are also affected.

Taking a pragmatic approach, Andjaro has developed a rapid deployment kit for its platform. Can you tell me about this?

It normally takes 3 months to fully implement our solution. This is a bit too long to help organisations minimise the impact of this public health crisis on their activities! That's why we've developed a rapid deployment kit. To do this, we brought together our client use cases that had the most relevance for the current situation.

To do this, we brought together our client use cases that had the most relevance for the current situation. They outline how clients were able to urgently reassign personnel to other sites. We then modeled tightly-defined use cases using a standard project approach; this allows us to shorten the development phase of the project. This also requires a client to commit to allowing us to use their data (bearing in mind that we are of course GDPR-compliant).

At the moment, for example, we're assisting a Belgian services company so that it can deploy our solution in just two weeks!

As you pointed out, some of your clients have had to close some of their sites, while others remain in operation. What support to they require?

Some groups have a national presence. In some cases, Andjaro's online platform has only been implemented for specific activities, and only at a few locations. The public health crisis has now made nationwide deployment essential. We've therefore taken action to "equip" new sites very quickly.

Do personnel being reassigned to roles different from those they normally hold require micro-training before they start working

Wherever possible, our clients prefer the internal redeployment of employees who have previously performed the role in question. Regardless of the time they will spend in this new role, however, the onboarding phase remains crucial. Fast track training may also be offered to them. During this public health crisis, new employees are systematically reminded of the protective measures and social distancing requirements to be observed when they arrive.

One of the defining features of the Andjaro platform is that it allows for the internal redeployment of employees taking into account the distance between their place of residence and the new assignment. In a public health crisis, can this parameter still be met?

There are two possible scenarios.The Belgian services company mentioned above has chosen to open support positions to other groups of employees capable of carrying out this type of assignment due to their range of skills and experience, salespeople in particular. They then help to support existing employees in these roles who are currently being stretched. This doesn't require any travel, because the work can be done remotely.In other organisations, available employees need to travel to a physical site. The well-being of these employees is paramount for the organisations that we support. While journeys which are a little longer than normal may be considered, there are still limits on the distances people can be asked to travel.

Providing your clients with the required level of visibility and flexibility requires a very thorough understanding of their needs. In addition to what we've just talked about, Andjaro asks its users for their input in order to extend the functionality of its matching algorithm. How important is this co-design process?

It's crucial. Regardless of the context, our working methods include a strong focus on R&D. Our platform has been developed to simplify, facilitate, and accelerate the internal search for employees whose profile, skills, and experience match the requirements of the role, or roles, to be filled. When time is at a premium, this doesn't mean identifying employees who are a 100% match, but rather those with a body of experience or expertise that can "cover" some of the expectations of the role.

In this context, feedback from our clients will allow us to enhance the platform with the ability to search by centres of excellence. This will benefit both operational managers (our principal users) and employees who indicate that they are available. For them, during these uncertain times, it is an opportunity to avoid being furloughed. More generally, this will allow managers to be more responsive and effective, while providing them with greater convenience. Employees who so wish can boost their income while expanding their professional experience. Aside from the purely business aspect (which is clearly there), I can assure you that the teams at Andjaro are committed to having a positive impact on employment.

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