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Valio People

Coronavirus crisis through the eyes of Valio people

Coronavirus crisis through the eyes of Valio people

Coronavirus has very quickly changed society, working life, communications and our way of operating. How have Valio employees adjusted to this exceptional situation? Read more about Valio people’s experiences!

Peter Hamrin, Foodservice Manager, Valio Sweden

Especially in an unusual situation and in times of uncertainty, open communication within the organisation and externally with customers is very important. This situation has given us a strong company culture that we can carry with us in the future. I also believe uncertain times highlight the importance of open and fast communication and clear target setting. We have a strong brand and high-quality products that our customers feel safe with. Keep Calm, Carry on and Wash your hands!

Moonika Meltsa, HR Manager, Estonia

Estonia has fortunately had one of the mildest coronavirus progression curves in the European Union thus far. This has given us valuable extra time to adjust our activities to the emergency situation. We were able to implement additional safety measures and reorganise work in plants to ensure that critical food production could continue during the crisis. Most people in the world, myself included, have currently exited their regular routine. We can’t yet fully anticipate what changes to everyday life and business practices will follow the coronavirus. We need to stay together and support each other – that is the best remedy against stress and fear right now.

Mari Meriluoto, Director of Business Development & Marketing, Finlandia Cheese, USA

Here in New Jersey we have all been working from home for over four weeks. New Jersey is second after New York in leading coronavirus cases in the U.S. In my team we have tried to find creative ways to maintain contact and motivation. We discovered that we also need unofficial ways of connecting, as ad hoc coffee table discussions and stopping by somebody’s office ended. What I would like to say to my colleagues all over the world is that we are all in this together. Focus on the positive things and try to find humour in this situation too, it helps! If we all continue this social distancing for a while longer, we will help the healthcare industry and those who are getting seriously ill. Hang in there!

Anastasia Volkova, Press Secretary, Russia

Like everyone, we have switched all our processes to online, but communications are easy to organise remotely. I don’t believe that our work quality is suffering when we have our phones, computers and the right attitude. It is difficult to sum up anything right now – there are so many things to happen yet. Our values are changing, and the world, as they say, is never going to be the same. But I can already say that I believe many of us will learn to live online and to handle things without offline office discussions and hour-long meetings, as they may be solved much more quickly online. I would recommend putting a limit on how much news you watch, as it brings only unnecessary negative psychological overload. Ten minutes a day is enough to keep in line.

Ellen Huang, HR Manager, China

The coronavirus has been a big interruption to our daily operations in China. Our organisation/team has quickly adapted business and management actions to accommodate the changes in the outside world. People in the organisation have had to change their way of working, e.g. working in virtual teams. Safety and (finance) security have become the priority in people’s lives during the past two months and in the following months. Valio responded quickly to the coronavirus situation: e.g., it provided support to the China team in early February and built up the global crisis management in March. My message to my colleagues is that we have to live with the uncertainty, so stay safe and stay strong!

Seppo Morander, Safety Manager, Valio Finland

In terms of my own work, virtually all my time is spent dealing with the coronavirus crisis and the related preparations. Other tasks and development issues will now have to wait until things are better. However, the daily work safety-related issues always have to be kept in order, regardless of the coronavirus crisis. My work related to the spreading of coronavirus started already early this year when we started monitoring the globally evolving situation. In general, I believe that this crisis will conceptually change companies’ operating chains, preparedness, and the national security of supply and their significance. But we will overcome this crisis too with good collaboration and by supporting one another.

Tapio Salmela, Process Controller, Finland, Oulu plant

Here at the Oulu plant the impacts of coronavirus have been visible in the various restrictions and guidelines. People have transitioned to working remotely when possible. Everyone is trying to avoid all interaction, meetings are held in Teams, meal times in the cafeteria are staggered, and the proper social distancing is being practiced. Also the movement of external players has been limited at the plant. Production and collection volumes have varied from the normal. All the keyboards, touch screens and operating buttons in shared use are cleaned and disinfected frequently in all departments. I wish to us all a fighting spirit through this. Stay well and safe at work and at home!