Putting people first, so they can put the customer first
In the early weeks of the pandemic, Fujitsu’s global delivery centers quickly shifted to all-remote work environments, transitioning in waves as COVID-19 lockdowns moved from Asia to Europe and the Americas. Fujitsu’s leaders and on-the-ground managers passed along lessons learned in Japan, China, the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia to colleagues facing imminent transitions. Perhaps surprising even Fujitsu’s leadership, some of the later transitions happened in less than 48 hours. In Poland, for example, the entire delivery center adopted all-remote work arrangements over a single weekend as the news coverage of COVID-19 shifted opinions and raised concerns about being in close proximity to coworkers in an office. Fujitsu experienced similarly rapid transitions at other facilities, including global delivery centers in Portugal and India. According to Fujitsu’s global delivery leadership, the transitions had no impact on Fujitsu’s delivery or customer satisfaction: “The SLAs [service-level agreements] hardly twitched.”
In TBR’s view, Fujitsu’s emphasis on its own people — ensuring safety, providing assurances around employment and meeting technology demands — likely had a positive ripple effect on the way employees delivered to Fujitsu’s clients. Fujitsu’s leaders noted the company’s commitment to “focus on people, and enable those people to focus on customers,” underscoring Fujitsu’s overall approach of putting its own people first. One example Fujitsu’s global delivery leaders shared with TBR centered on the company’s travel and visitor policies. Early changes reflected a slowdown in travel, but “not a strangulation.” Fujitsu’s employees believed they were still empowered to deliver to clients, traveling for work as necessary, but cognizant of coming changes and able to include their own feedback on company policies.
As February ended and the virus’s global sweep became apparent, Fujitsu employees were prepared for a shift from limiting travel to limiting visitors to office locations, primarily to provide employees with additional safety and protection from COVID-19 exposure. Another example centered on employee communication and support to ensure well-being. Fujitsu holds ongoing check-ins with employees through coffee sessions and distributed surveys to keep everyone connected and engaged, confirming the employees responded positively to the company’s approach to COVID-19. Fujitsu executives noted to TBR that over 80% of employees felt positive about the approach and execution of its COVID response. The meetings recognized employee needs beyond workload constraints, taking personal COVID-19 challenges in consideration. Overall, TBR believes Fujitsu’s global delivery leadership made a critical decision to focus on employees first, which eased the challenges related to moving to all-remote working through Fujitsu’s additional protection for employees’ well-being as well as protection for their families from COVID-19. Further, by coordinating across countries and regions so that successful strategies could be repeated and mistakes could be avoided, Fujitsu made it possible to sustain customer satisfaction and consistent services delivery.
In a wide-ranging discussion with Fujitsu’s global delivery leaders, including Head of Global Delivery Tim White, Head of Global COVID-19 Response and Chief Information Security Officer Clive Tillotson, and Specialist Marketing Manager Charlie Ayling, TBR analysts heard about the company’s immediate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing operations and expectations for the post-pandemic world. This special report includes some highlights from the discussion. Additional information will be included in TBR’s quarterly analysis of Fujitsu Services.