Adapting to changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic is essential for every organization, and PESA is committed to providing the latest information and best practices to help Members manage unprecedented events.
While face-to-face meetings can’t happen for the time being, PESA will bring Members together and share important information through PESA Remote Events – a series of teleconferences and webinars designed to educate, inform and stimulate industrywide communication.
PESA’s HR Committee hosted the first remote event on March 13, which brought together high-level human resources decision-makers to discuss challenges their companies are facing, steps they’re taking, and how they’re addressing federal and local legal standards and medical guidelines.
The meeting was facilitated by PESA Advisory Board Member, Dave Warnick, Division Vice President, Human Resources, Weir Oil & Gas, with Member Companies like Baker Hughes, Caterpillar, DistributionNOW, Exterran, Frank’s International, NOV, and Weir Oil & Gas detailing measures each company has put in place including:
- Travel restrictions
- Offering remote working options wherever possible
- Actively monitoring and implementing local government health recommendations
- Cancelling in-person meetings
- Restricting external visitors
- Limiting and rotating onsite operational staff onsite
- Enhancing internal communications, including daily leadership conversations, creating an intranet landing page addressing COVID-19 or issuing company-wide memos with updates
- Creating manager toolkits so supervisors are equipped to respond quickly.
The need for remote work options in some cases required a ramp-up of IT capabilities. In addition, HR departments collaborated with managers to create clear expectations and accountability guidelines for remote workers.
Companies are also preparing for a unique demand on health insurance and are establishing flexible leave policies to assure the health and safety of their workforce. Self-insured companies have decided to cover COVID-19 testing and treatment. If an employee shows symptoms consistent with COVID-19, some companies are planning to send them home with two weeks paid leave.
“If we don’t take appropriate action, this virus can spread and shut the whole plant down so either we lose the employee or we lose the whole plant,” said Lisa Adams, Lead HR Manager, Caterpillar.
Government travel bans and restrictions are causing uncertainty for many oilfield services workers. Foreign nationals are being asked to delay home leave by a minimum of three weeks. Those who are overseas are being permitted to remain outside the U.S. with paid leave. U.S. citizens will receive federal guidance on how to safely travel home.
School closures are another pressure point because many employees are suddenly left without childcare. Some companies are instituting backup childcare providers or will financially support essential employees who need to be onsite, but lack the resources to care for out-of-school children.
The committee discussed how to compensate employees in exceptional situations, such as being hourly or needing to go to well sites. They agreed the issue needs more analysis of the affordability of augmenting time-off options before they could agree on a best practice. Solutions or recommendations developed by the committee will be disseminated through PESA.
Any companies having input, suggestions or questions should contact Director Membership Services Carolynn Henriquez for more information. The committee will hold a second teleconference on March 27 to discuss updates and current HR trends in respond to COVID-19 and other best-practices.