On March 25, James Loudon, the General Manager and Forum Director of IMA Asia shared with our webinar participants many of the best practices that were developed by companies operating in China during the height of the coronavirus lockdown.
IMA Asia’s members include most of the Fortune 500’s Asian operations. IMA provides them with macro-economic consulting but also runs peer group forums for these companies’ Asian (particularly China) CEOs and CFOs. When travel restrictions were imposed in China, IMA quickly moved their meetings online. Many of the corporate executives called in daily to share stories and learn from their peers.
James described how IMA and many other companies quickly adapted to digital technology to stay in touch with their clients and to improve the effectiveness of “working from home”. James also noted that, in many factories or distribution centers, the work force was divided into teams to operate on different schedules and were not in contact with each other. This was to provide assurance that if a team member of one group became sick, the other team could still function effectively.
James also addressed the issue of pay during times of crisis. He noted that his clients in China instituted a number of different strategies. Some service firms promised eleven months of pay to their employees and to return the lost month if annual revenues met budget, while others granted extra bonuses to their employees to help them go through the crisis.
Notes from James’ talk will be posted on our website in the near future.