Aiming towards new adaptive work and family processes that have emerged due to Covid-19.
Santiago, May 2020.- Komatsu Cummins has implemented “Comunícate”, a program directed to all its workers which integrates two fields: psychological support and online medical advice, free of charge for all their collaborators. The initiative was born out of the need to facilitate remote access to these professional services within the social context that Chile is facing today due to Covid-19.
In order to develop “Comunícate”, the company implemented a direct line of telephone support in March that can be used by any of its collaborators to get access to orientation and support in an immediate and anonymous way and by which specialized psychologists will be able to guide them to overcome the difficult circumstances they are going through, helping to restore balance within the family unit or work environment. This is of particular importance given that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) has emphasized the effects this pandemic is having on people, due to confinement and pent up stress, which is causing anxiety attacks or distress both in adults and children, plus its effects on different productive sectors.
Additionally, once the increasing impact that Covid-19 has on health systems and the growing travel restrictions due to neighborhood and/or regional quarantines had been gauged, a decision was made to integrate the concept of “telehealth”, which will allow users to get in contact with trained doctors via telephone or the internet for medical consultation. These physicians will be able to make diagnoses, give prescriptions remotely and – if need be – refer patients to the appropriate specialists for face-to-face consultation, thus reducing primary care waiting times and helping people to avoid crowds and the risk of infection.
Rodrigo Lara Angeli, Human Resource Director for Komatsu Cummins, highlighted that “Comunícate” demonstrates how big companies can innovate by means of different schemes in order to confront Coronavirus. “Telehealth-based clinical support allows collaborators to sidestep the need of exposing themselves to danger when resorting to health services that – understandably – will be at their full capacity during this pandemic, providing them instead with immediate assistance so as to avoid the worsening of common sicknesses and curb the anxiety of having to visit health centers. Moreover, it allows for timely diagnoses of other severe diseases like COVID-19, whilst freeing up space in primary care services for people who cannot make use of these services remotely”, the executive stated.
Regarding the plan for psychological support, Lara stressed that confidentiality will be ensured for those who request this aid in order to provide comprehensive assistance. “We want to emphasize that the program is completely anonymous because the starting point of psychological and clinical orientation is for patients to open up and express worries and struggles so that specialists have the information needed to help solve those issues or pathologies. Emotional support is necessary in the social and work-related adaptive processes that we are going through today, and in some cases, due to their complexity, only qualified professionals can oversee them”, he stated.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that Komatsu Cummins is also carrying out individual and group coaching sessions for leaders of different areas in the company, focusing on the complex adaptive processes that all workers are experiencing; fundamental steps in sustaining some key fields for the development and growth of the country, such as mining, transport and power generation.