Lafarge Africa upbeat on post COVID-19 readiness

Mr Gbemiga Owolabi, Director, Organisation and Human Resources, Lafarge Africa Plc, said the company was prepared for the future owing to actions taken to mitigate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owolabi said this in a statement made available on Wednesday in Lagos.

Owolabi noted that the strategy organisations used before and during the COVID-19 must be different from that of the post-pandemic era, a period often referred to as the “new normal”.

“Recall that I joined during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, which made it somewhat challenging to hit the ground running.

“However, over the past seven months, apart from providing leadership for the HR function, my focus has been to ensure that we get the business ready for the future.

“During the lockdown earlier in 2020, we more or less tested our resilience and we satisfactorily handled the challenges of the period.

“The business is now well prepared for the future,” said Owolabi.

Highlighting some of the measures the company took since he joined the firm amid the crisis, the director revealed that Lafarge Africa, through regular engagement with business leaders and employees, had been able to develop a robust HR strategy.

“When you look at the employees who are going to drive that going forward, you must keep them connected and informed to ensure that they are all ready for a high growth agenda,” he said.

Part of the company’s efforts was the launch of Project One, which according to Owolabi, focuses on building a high-performing organisation, with one team all moving in the same direction.

He noted that the initiative was launched in collaboration with the Communications, Public Affairs, and Sustainability Development team at Lafarge to drive the “One Team, One Direction” agenda, to further entrench a culture of oneness built on trust and collaboration.

“We leveraged the benefits of this shift considerably during the lockdown and post-lockdown phases of the pandemic, projecting us to be ready for the future.

“The essence of it is that you have people with a common mindset to collaborate and lead successfully,” Owolabi added.

According to him, during the lockdown, Lafarge activated its Business Continuity Plan and remote working arrangement, which ensured that its employees and their families are safe and healthy.

“All of these measures have paid off hugely . While the effects of the pandemic have been felt globally with businesses in several sectors hard hit, productivity levels have increased at Lafarge Africa thanks to its business resilience.

“Another key outcome of the company’s actions during the period was the “mindset and behavioral change that we quickly caught up to, this led to Project One – one team, one direction which helped us to drive more productivity,” he added. 

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