Adapting to COVID-19 Modis Life Sciences Virtual Talent Managers | Modis

Adapting to COVID-19: Modis Life Sciences 'Virtual Talent Managers'

Els Roesems, Deborah Gelfged & Mariken De Ruyck Posted 04 May 2020

In a world where we all have to become virtual colleagues due to Covid-19, all processes find a way to become digital as well. Talent management is one of those areas where you have to opportunity to guide someone’s career. But how do you do this virtually? Especially in a field where human contact is so important. The talent managers at Modis have adapted quickly to the new virtual climate and evolved to become virtual talent managers. How does their day look like? We talked to our three colleagues, Els, Deborah and Mariken, to find out how they are handling this situation and to have a sneak peak in their virtual workday.

8 AM: Our virtual working day might be our home office but it isn’t lonely at all. We are the link between clients, employees and internal departments within HR. So we start the day by running through our busy call schedule.

“The COVID-19 situation we are facing impacts all of us, both personally and professionally. The challenging circumstances came unexpected and quickly, so we had to adapt fast to an unknown situation, where everybody is looking for the right solutions and answers,” says Els.

9-11 AM: We are using all available communication tools like our cell phones, e-mail, Skype or Microsoft Teams to stay connected. It is especially important to be visually connected, which is not a given in a lockdown situation. In the morning, we usually fill up our time by contacting consultants and clients.

“In these times, we are more than ever an important link between Modis and the consultants/clients. Partly it remains business as usual, but we are also confronted with new topics, questions and concerns,” says Els.
“We are confronted with new specific questions on a problem of which we are largely ignorant. The new administrative rules, the new processes…. It is a constant adaptation that we have to face.” says Deborah.

Noon: Time for a small lunchbreak, then we head back to our computer to process incoming e-mails and do the paperwork like meeting minutes or drafting up a plan to develop the consultants talents through training or see how we can evolve their career in the future.

“My work hasn’t really changed now we work virtually. The check-ins I used to do face to face are now virtual. We do not only talk about this COVID-19 situation, but we keep discussing training needs and how they can evolve in their careers” says Mariken.
“Consultants and clients need to feel the support, guidance and help from us in these new and difficult circumstances. The virtual way of working is a challenge, especially since we strive for a personal and human approach towards our contacts,” says Els.

1-4 PM: Of course, we are always in touch with our clients to be able to deliver top notch service. We are always connected via phone, e-mail or Skype. The wellbeing of all stakeholders is for us top priority and our mission within the company.

“With the growth of the digital economy, our ‘always on’ way of working, and now dealing with COVID-19, assisting workers with their wellbeing has never been more important,” says Deborah.

4-5pm: To finish up we report through Skype meetings with the management our findings of the day and see how we can still deliver the best possible service, even in these COVID-19 restrictions.

Thanks to all the technical possibilities, we keep on offering the best possible service to our people and they can stay in touch. This close bond is extremely important in this time of crisis. When our people have questions, we are here to answer those. Deborah, gave an example on how she’s being creative in times like these. “The Corona crisis is a situation that has never happened to us before. Also temporary unemployment is something that is new for a lot of us. In order to help them as much as possible and to be able to communicate as effectively as possible, I created a What’sApp group with my consultants to spread crucial information directly and to be able to quickly respond to any needs. Our availability is more important than ever.”

Even though our Talent Managers are handling this ‘unusual’ situation exceptionally, they are looking forward to soon replace video meetings by face2face conversations again. The feeling remains different, the distance smaller, the work pleasure bigger and the approach better.

And in the meantime: Let’s all stay safe and take care of each other!

Authors: Els Roesems, Deborah Gelfged & Mariken De Ruyck,
Talent Managers Life Sciences

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