Carmen Dumitrache, Telekom Romania: Managing the emotions created by the pandemic is very important for the health of the employees

Aurel Constantin 01/04/2021 | 14:24

The world is changing a lot and fast around us, so we have to adapt quickly to the new coordinates. ”And there are three directions to consider, three lenses through which to look at the current situation,” said Carmen Dumitrache, Chief HR Officer at Telekom Romania, present at Business Review’s #futureofwork – Working Romania HR Conference.


”The first is the one that shows us what we can do now, the immediate reaction. We are a year away from the start of the pandemic, when the context has changed. The second lens is the one that looks at the emotional side of employees. Now, more than ever, I felt the emotion of my colleagues, which has different valences and a special impact. Channeling it in the right direction and with the right management was a lesson for us. The third lens is what we can do now for the future workforce. All generations, like pupils and students, go through this context just like we do, a context from which they try to learn something and willingly or unwillingly are shaped by. Therefore, the question for business people is how they act on this group so that the future workforce is prepared for what the future will represent and how we, as companies, can provide them with what they need”, says Carmen Dumitrache.

”I mentioned emotion, even if it is not a business word, and I come up with two concrete examples,” shows Dumitrache.

„The first is related to a fact that impressed me, as a member of the executive board. It was a lesson we learned from our technicians during the pandemic, when they chose to go to the homes of customers going beyond any kind of constraint related to the fear of illness. We had a campaign called “Keeping Romania connected” and what impressed me about our technicians is how they perceived it: not as a slogan, but as a way of being and working.”

”What we did as an employer was to create from the beginning a program dedicated to all colleagues, created together with them, taking us to all areas that we were told are important for this management of emotions and knowledge, a program called Healthy Me. Ii included a fitness part, with physiotherapy, yoga and others, but also a Healthy Lead part, addressed to managers, leaders, to understand what the change caused by this situation means.”

”Healthy Community was for creating communities inside the company, but also for opening up to the outside world. What I think was very important and still is, is that this program was made by the company for the employees and we have extended it to the families of our employees. It was a good answer in addition to all the up-skilling and re-skilling programs we already had.”

As far as the future goes ”we cannot go through a pandemic experience without learning something. In the future, I think there will be a mix. We have colleagues who are not interested in returning to the office and are efficient at home, but we also have colleagues who come to the office, especially those in the frontline, and although they enjoy certain advantages that an office space has, they find it difficult to wear a mask for 8-9 hours or keeping the distance from colleagues. It will not be necessary for us to force a certain direction, it will be a mix between home and office,” says Dumitrache.

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