How Manitou adapted its working practices in the face of Covid-19


In the face of a global pandemic, companies are having to adapt and reinvent themselves to respond to the sanitary, human and organisational challenges.

How has Manitou Group mobilised to meet these challenges? In this second piece, we look at the Castelfranco site in Italy, where, since March, work organisation has had to be adapted.

Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to suffer the full force of the sanitary crisis. In Manitou Group, the Italian subsidiary was a forerunner in implementing sanitary and work reorganisation measures.

Regarding the factory, in order to maintain production, major work reorganisation was implemented, thanks to mobilisation and daily exchanges between the Human Resources, operational and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) teams and the unions. An external consulting firm also participated in these discussions in order to formalise procedures.

Numerous protective regulations were introduced on the Italian site, such as the rearrangement of morning work schedules at the factory to avoid use of locker rooms and the cafeteria, mandatory wearing of masks, temperature checks for everyone on entering the building, a cleaning service for work stations and offices every two hours and at the end of the day, and general disinfection of the work environment. These measures reassured employees having to attend their workplace.

As a second step, the factory further increased its level of vigilance by dividing the various workshops and assembly lines into areas. Each area functions independently with regard to entrances and exits, restrooms and coffee machines.

This system will be implemented until the factory’s summer shutdown date at the beginning of August. If the sanitary situation allows, a return to normal may be considered from September 2020.

In the offices teleworking, until now very rare in Italy, became the main way of working for 90% of employees in March and April. Within two days, the IT department enabled 90% of employees to telework if their tasks allowed it.

Despite its sudden and unexpected implementation, this experience shows the value of teleworking in the longer term. For the company, the exercise showed that this way of working is effective from an operational point of view and creates good productivity. The employees, for their part, appreciated the management’s confidence in them and successfully achieved their mission to contribute remotely to maintaining the company’s activity.

To reduce loss of contact with corporate reality, the link between the teams was maintained as far as possible in the circumstances, via numerous virtual meetings, frequent news communications and support from the management.

Since May 18, half of the teleworking employees have been gradually returning to the office, using a shift system within the teams to comply with the sanitary safety measures.

How will this experience be followed up? There will be an acceleration of discussions on the integration of teleworking at Manitou Italia. The process had already started before the crisis, and will now be reactivated, enhanced by the feedback from the full-scale trial of recent months.

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About Author


Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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