DEUTZ – Getting on the front foot of COVID safe workplaces

Businesses of all sizes and across a diverse range of industries have had to innovate and discover new levels of agility to create COVID-safe workplaces.

DEUTZ Australia has been no exception in facing these challenges. The business has been on the front foot in navigating efficient ways to continue national and international operations and service customers across the Asia-Pacific while safeguarding the health and wellbeing of employees.

Helen Politis, DEUTZ Australia’s workplace advisor, says the business launched an ‘immediate’ response to comply with government regulations and protect the wellbeing of its workforce.

She adds this quickness to respond and a ‘pragmatic, consultative and supportive’ mindset helped put DEUTZ Australia on the front foot with lockdowns and evolving legislation. During tough times the business has even been able to expand its workforce and provide much-needed new jobs.

“DEUTZ Australia has had to remain operational for customers across the Pacific,” says Ms Politis.

“While interactions with customers, clients and contractors have had to be limited, measures were quickly put in place to ensure continuity of contact and arrangements while still ensuring the DEUTZ workplace was COVID-safe and compliant. 

“DEUTZ’s service to customers hasn’t altered during this pandemic. That in-person customer interface has been impacted of course but DEUTZ Australia has worked even harder to strengthen key remote connections.”

The business has followed all strict lockdown rules, but the nature of the industry has meant that not everyone can work remotely. Spare parts inventory has to be moved, mechanics who work on the DEUTZ engines and other products need to be onsite, and employees have been needed in the warehouse to take delivery of, and dispatch, parts. Senior managers have also had to be on the ground.

DEUTZ Australia’s approach has been to make necessary physical changes to ensure the business stays operational and to support a flexible work policy,” explains Ms Politis.

“The business was very prepared to move into the remote working space without concerns about a drop in productivity – the business has been very pragmatic and supportive, rather than being fearful, about that. If you don’t have that level of trust, remote working can be problematic.”

Regular and transparent communication between management and employees has been pivotal for those working remotely and onsite. Briefings, leadership team meetings and a cascade in communications from the MD with a strong feedback loop leading back up to the MD have given employees clarity and a voice during the pandemic.

DEUTZ Australia Managing Director, Craig Chamberlin, says the company’s focus throughout the pandemic has been on the safety of employees and maintaining high levels of customer service nationwide. 

“Like many businesses, DEUTZ Australia has had to confront the very real and significant impacts of the pandemic,” says Mr Chamberlin. 

“It has been challenging and our team has had to be flexible, resilient and to trust that the decisions and changes that have been made would ensure the continued smooth running of our day-to-day business in testing times. 

“Despite repeated lockdowns and changing regulations, we are proud that our business has been able to flex and move forward and that is entirely due to keeping our operations agile, honest communication and the willingness of our teamto navigate these unusual times.”

“DEUTZ employees know that the business has a plan in place and this has given them some level of comfort. As the government has suddenly decreed further lockdowns, employees and DEUTZ Australia customers know what the business is doing to look after employees and customers,” agrees Ms Politis.

“When there is so much uncertainty around, businesses need to be clear with their customers and employees on the current state of play – it is all we can control and it’s our way towards giving employees and customers some certainty.”