Ciara Pryce

Ciara writes:

This whole coronavirus thing is awful and the impact on business, industry and society is so far-reaching.

However there are some huge positives in the way people have responded, and in opportunities to make us a better team and company.

I am so impressed with the spirit that has been demonstrated by VGC people in these past few weeks.

Working from home

In just one week, our IT team managed to arrange for 90% of our staff to work from home. The remaining 10% were sorted early the next week. This is something I honestly thought wasn’t possible. Yes, we still need to work through some logistics, but this has shown we can work in a different way. I’m already getting feedback that staff feel more productive and empowered.

This will transform the way we look at flexible working in the future – which has to be a good thing for women returners, those with caring responsibilities and anyone who wants a better work-life balance.

Getting things done

We have asked people to pull together and find solutions (quickly). I can’t thank VGC people enough for what they have done. Our IT team has accelerated the implementation of Microsoft Teams, and our procurement team has sourced loads of equipment to enable home working. Everyone has had to adapt to new working practices and find operational solutions to delivering their roles. They have all been so open and willing to do this that I am in awe of their tenacity and resilience.

Our senior management team is very busy, working through all the government guidance is that is released daily. By the end of next week we should be able to provide better guidance to our workforce on how VGC will implement programmes such as the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. We will also ensure that our IT systems are geared up to process this.

I know this is a hugely worrying time for everyone, and they want answers on the financial assistance they are entitled to. We are working around the clock to make sure that we can support our people through this time. This is our priority.

I am so impressed with the whole VGC team in our offices and on sites across the country. They have all been so open and willing to work together, and I am in awe of their tenacity and resilience.

Doing things differently

We are all having to work in different ways. Our payroll team members are all working remotely, but still managed to run our weekly payroll for all our staff. Our HSQE team and compliance team has done their five day RISQS audit through video conferencing. It was a challenge but the results were positive – and who knows, maybe this is the most efficient way to do it anyway?

We continue to deliver

Our labour managers, operations managers, project managers, supervisors, contractors and operatives are continuing to deliver our essential services on sites across the country. They are also looking out for each other and supporting one another.

Our company values have never been more relevant than they are this week. It’s really true: we achieve our potential; we deliver on our promises, and we look after each other.

While it’s impossible to mention all the amazing things that have been achieved by our staff this week, I would like to thank everyone.

So it is possible to find positives in these challenging times. I wish everyone a great weekend. We’ll be back making it happen next week, and every week until we emerge on the other side of this crisis. And I’m confident we will be stronger than ever.

Please check our website daily for updates, and ensure that your email address is up-to-date on our system. We email all staff at 4pm each weekday, so if you are not getting these emails, please check your spam folder.

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