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Our field employees are Real Heroes for customer support during COVID-19: Bharat Bhardwaj, Agilent Technologies India

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Digital connect sessions with customers and virtual coffee talks with employees are few of the ways Agilent Technologies India is riding out the COVID-19 crisis. Bharat Bhardwaj, Country Manager, Agilent Technologies India gives some details to Viveka Roychowdhury

How is Agilent coping with the current scenario given the lockdown issued by the government?

Agilent in India has an established Enterprise Risk Management Program that incorporates Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) for all critical activities, risks, and crisis-management protocols. This structure is activated at the country, function and enterprise levels as and when required. In the current scenario where the world is grappling with COVID-19, the India leadership team is closely monitoring the situation and meets thrice a week to discuss the plan of action for the subsequent week keeping in mind the developments at a national and a global level.

I, along with the internal communications team, engage with employees through cross-communication channels, at every level and layer of the organisation to keep their morale high. Moreover, the communications team has established a close connect with employees through digital meetings, virtual coffee talks among other activities. Employees have also been encouraged to indulge in fitness activities and pursue creative interests along with sharing pictures of them with their family spending quality time and rejuvenating themselves during the lockdown.

What are the measures taken by Agilent to ensure that the employees are safe?

This year, Agilent India has been certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ by GPTW Institute. The main contributing factor to this distinction is Agilent’s commitment to providing a safe environment for employees, their families and the communities in which Agilent operates in. Recently, Agilent has been ranked sixth among the ‘2020 Best Workplaces in Asia’. This is a testimony of our rich culture and a great work environment. Moreover, Agilent’s crisis preparedness strategy is based on values that safeguard the lives of its employees.

Agilent has adopted a rapid response protocol and some of the best practices to combat the spread of COVID-19.  Among the rapid response measures is Agilent’s timely decision to ensure employee safety by encouraging them to work from home. This privilege was then quickly extended to non-Agilent employees and contractual employees, as well. Our Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) teams have their strategy in place to support our employees in order to ensure that they work from home comfortably. Our superior IT infrastructure allows us to match up to employees’ network needs.

What are the customer service initiatives by Agilent amidst the COVID-19 crisis?

At Agilent, supporting our customers during a crisis is a key priority. Our global and India teams are hard at work to avoid disruptions while at the same time are taking responsible measures to do what they can to prevent further spread. Agilent has put in place a series of easy, #eConnect options for its customers to ensure minimal disruption of services, delivered across the globe. Agilent Digital Handshake is a part of such an initiative, which includes knowledge sharing sessions and workshops for customers. More than 3000 customers have participated in these digital connect sessions thus far. Additionally, the customer service team is in regular touch with affected customers with regard to the turnaround time for shipment delivery and other logistic issues resulting from the situation. There are also instances where some of our employees may need to visit customer sites for installation, service and repairs. Agilent is resolving these issues remotely using virtual tools and technologies to minimise personalised visits.

Where a site visit is required, we have obtained additional personal protective gear to equip our employees, and we require them to follow any additional protocols our customers have implemented. Agilent has tagged its field employees as ‘Real Heroes’, and they are also being recognised for their willingness to support customer needs in a challenging situation like COVID-19. On the humanitarian front, Agilent has donated instruments to four clinical-and-research institutions in China. Agilent is also committed to exploring novel ways of business continuity while maintaining ‘social distancing’ in a way that ensures 360-degree safety of all stakeholders in its business.

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