From superheroes to the Smart Startplaybook, Magna’s Mexico facilitiesdeployed a wide range of strategies toensure a successful restart followingthe COVID-19 shutdown. In the process,they found a “silver lining” or positiveside to what has been a dire situation.
“We have suffered losses in the Magna communityin Mexico, and we are in the midst of the biggestchallenge I’ve seen in more than 30 years as ahuman resources professional,” said Irma Galvan,the director of corporate HR programs in Mexico.“But I’ve always believed you should look forsomething good in any situation, and see what youcan learn. We’ve done that, too.”
The Magna playbook, with its industry-settingguidelines to guard the health and wellbeing ofemployees, proved to be an invaluable resource,and a template for handling any future crisis. Theplaybook served as the foundation for a smoothreturn to work for the 27 divisions in Mexico.
“I’m very proud of the measures that Magna hasimplemented through the Smart Start playbookand the creative approaches that various divisionshave put in place,” said Galvan.
A comic book featuring the adventures of Magnasuperheroes was one of those innovativeapproaches.
Cesar Daniel Gomez, a communicationscoordinator at Magna Exteriors Queretaro createdtwo characters – Super Honesty, clad in a red capewith the Magna logo, and The Lady of Truth – whobattle coronaviruses and “Mr. Lies” in the kid-friendly comic book. The comic was a lightheartedway to reinforce the recommendations of the SmartStart playbook, urging all employees and theirfamilies to take precautions such as mask wearing,hand washing and social distancing at work and athome.
Irma Galvan, director of corporate HRprograms in Mexico.
“We have suffered losses in the Magnacommunity in Mexico, and we are in the midst ofthe biggest challenge I’ve seen in more than 30years as a human resources professional. But I’vealways believed you should look for somethinggood in any situation, and see what you canlearn. We’ve done that, too.
“If you take care of yourself, you take care of us all!”said the Magna superheroes.
Other divisions in Mexico created videos urgingemployees to avoid after-hours gatherings andget-togethers to limit possible exposure to COVID-19 outside of work.
The employee-inspired solutions encompassedevery aspect of the workplace, with the aim ofpreventing the virus from gaining a foothold in aMagna facility.
At the San Luis Metal Forming facility, a mobileisolation zone – basically a trailer with twoentrances – was set up to help identify and preventsick employees from entering the building.
At Magna Seating Systems of Acuna, the 3,000employees who ride company buses to work weregiven assigned seats.
Super Honesto comic,created byCesar Daniel Gomez, acommunications coordinator at Magna Exteriors Queretaro
“It helps to make sure people don’t rush to get onthe bus, and allows for good contact tracing,”Galvan said. “This division went beyond barriers.They thought ‘What else can we do to ensure fastreaction to the virus?’”
In areas of Mexico where there is limited access tomedical care, 15 out of 27 Magna divisions havehired more on-site nurses and doctors to helpemployees get COVID-19 testing and medicalattention. In addition, Magna’s Mexico operationsestablished protocols to help employees withshort-term assistance when governmentassistance is not available.
“When the pandemic ends, there are some goodthings that I would want to continue doing, suchas a new electronic version of our EmployeeOpinion Survey,” said Galvan. “We’ve also learnedhow to communicate quickly with the MyLife app.We will continue sending messages through that,especially if we ever have a bad storm orhurricane. Hopefully, we’ll never have anothersituation like this, but we know that we canrespond fast enough to get things in place. Andthat is a positive lesson.”
If you have symptomsof Coronavirus, reportit immediately to HR,or to your supervisorand do not report towork. Always tell thetruth.