Inspiring Ways of Living in the Time of Corona
How Etex is responding to COVID-19
Coronavirus had throttled the world into an unprecedented time of anxiety and uncertainty. Since December 2019, the virus has been traversing the globe and has thus far claimed over 300 000 lives. There are over two million COVID-19 cases globally and over 20 000 in South Africa, which has 524 reported deaths. The virus has also affected the Etex family, with 57 suspected cases and three confirmed cases among our colleagues; the activities of nearly 60 Etex facilities have been paused. As we grapple with this crisis, we must all play our part in supporting those who are affected; now is the time to unite and find ways to make a difference within and beyond the Etex Group.
In this time, we are working hard to demonstrate our values – connect and care, passion for excellence and pioneer to lead. According to Etex CEO Paul Van Oyen, Etex Kapelle-op-den-Bos is donating overalls to medical facilities, Etex Sint-Niklaas is producing masks for hospitals and COVID-19 patients, and Etex Vernon has donated its stock of surgical masks to the town’s central pharmacy. “Etex is taking a careful and cautious approach to the COVID-19 crisis, as we must be prepared for every possible scenario. We are bringing the way we manage the crisis to the next level; we are involving our most talented people, ensuring the best outcome for Etex in a structured way, with the deep involvement of the executive committee. Our organisation is in good shape, but we must drastically reduce our investments, cut costs and identify optimisation opportunities to secure our present and future,” says Paul.
In addition to affecting the physical and mental wellbeing of many people, COVID-19 is also affecting people financially; some have lost their jobs or have received pay cuts due to the impact that the virus has had on businesses and economies as a whole. It is a trying time for many as companies as they find ways to ensure that employees aren’t left stranded in the face of a crisis that forcing many businesses to press pause on operations. Etex values its staff, and we’re working hard to minimise the financial impact of the virus. As noted by our CEO, Paul, “While the salaries of Executive Committee members will be cut by 20%, we have taken several measures within our financial boundaries to keep the impacts on our people to a minimum. Until 16 June, no general restructuring is planned, and we will ensure a minimum income level of 75% for our entire workforce.”
On the other side of the pandemic
Even in this time of global angst and uncertainty, we are focused on ensuring that we achieve our strategic objectives, doing all that we can now and working to ensure a brighter future for our organisation and employees. Our mission to be united in all that we do in our business, even in the face of this pandemic, continues. As expressed by Paul, “One Etex is full steam ahead, and opportunities have been identified to accelerate the initiative. Priority projects such as our New Ways division, digital initiatives and CSR initiatives will be fully staffed.”
Etex’s purpose of inspiring ways of living is our guiding light; strong collaboration is the company’s engine, and all of these things combined give us the strength, resilience and unity to weather any storm and come out ahead of the competition.