International SOS recognises employees’ achievements amid Covid-19 pandemic

Global medical and travel security services organisation International SOS has publicly recognised all of its its employees by featuring them in a special edition of its monthly newsletter, ‘celebrating our heroes’ during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Employees from across Europe were featured in the March 2020 edition, which was sent out to all of its 1,100 staff, alongside a video interview with the regional managing director thanking employees for their hard work during the pandemic.

The eight-page newsletter also features local managers praising employees who have gone above and beyond during these exceptional circumstances.

The newsletter has been well received with a higher than usual level of engagement. Micheal Whitlow, human resources director at International SOS, explains: “We sent out a communication to celebrate all the amazing work that people had done to support our clients and the engagement has been quite phenomenal.

“We can actually see now how many people are really interested to read the stories about their colleagues. The communication was focusing on recognition and it was well received. As many people were opening the last page as there were opening the first which shows a level of engagement and interest in what we’re putting out there.”

Throughout the pandemic, International SOS continues to run its peer to peer recognition scheme, Kudos which enables employees to nominate their peers, who receive a monetary gift voucher and the organisation plants a tree on their behalf. “We encourage our managers to recognise and include people as much as they can,” explains Whitlow. “We have had two employees who we sent a hand delivered message from the regional managing director and a cheque to say thank you. These were individuals who have really gone above and beyond.”

One of the employees who was presented with an accolade was a manager who was appointed the organisation’s pandemic manager for Europe, and has supported the company and its employees through the crisis. Another was a flight desk manager who supported the repatriation of many of the organisation’s clients and their families.

No matter what the situation, employers need to encourage positivity and engagement, says Whitlow. “It is important because there is so much doom and gloom out there. The news is insatiable, it’s really easy to spiral into a negative place so being realistically positive is important.”

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