A cautious, phased approach with a dash of humour; how the LeasePlan internal communications team managed comms during the Covid-19 crisis.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we work. Where many companies have rushed to implement a social intranet or an employee app, LeasePlan UK have put their energies into ensuring their people have what they need, when they need it and feel well supported physically and emotionally. It’s a strategy that’s hard to argue with.

Alison Boothby caught up with Nat High, Head of Employee and Community Engagement at LeasePlan UK, to find out how they have supported their employees through the pandemic, from early lockdown and home working, to today’s phased return to their offices.

THE AUTHOR

Alison Boothby, senior reporter, simplycommunicate

Alison Boothby is simply's senior reporter.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we work. “Although it felt as if the UK came to a standstill in March, this wasn’t the case for many of our customers who fell into the ‘key workers’ category” explained Nat High, Head of Employee and Community Engagement at LeasePlan.

“The world changed with the lockdown, especially in the beginning when garages closed, rental companies shut their doors and collection agents couldn’t make pick-ups. However, key workers still needed their vehicles in order to support the rest of us who were staying at home.

“We made the business decision to focus on giving them all the help we could, while putting processes in place to protect them as much as possible. This included specifics, such as prioritised MOTs, tyre replacements and essential repairs, but also broader ideas about using fleets more effectively.

“Our consultancy services team provided online guidance for fleet reviews and our communications team offered tips and insights for employee and driver welfare, together with regular updates about the pandemic and the Government’s response.”

Empathetic leadership

A significant proportion of the company’s 550 strong UK-workforce are in customer service roles. The lockdown affected different teams in different ways and LeasePlan responded by allocating internal resource accordingly. Nat picks up this thread, “There’s a deeply-embedded culture here of thinking as one company and it has been very beneficial to us.

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