The Covid-19 crisis changed everything for Belgium-based HR Business Partner Evelyne. And keeping colleagues safe is still her number one priority.

HR Business Partner Evelyne is based at our production plant in Veurne, Belgium. While many employees across PepsiCo have been working from home through the pandemic, she mostly remained onsite when Covid-19 hit Belgium. Here she reflects on the challenges and highlights of this unprecedented time.

“During the first months of the crisis, 95% of our HR department’s work has been Covid-19 related. Putting the crisis plan into action, rolling out measures on the shop floor and helping employees who have questions or health issues. Even if the situation might stabilize, the coronavirus remains a priority.

It’s vitally important to me during these times to do all I can to keep the plant operating, and ensure its employees can work safely and keep earning their incomes. Employee safety is always the highest priority, no compromises are made.

It’s been interesting – and encouraging – during this crisis to see our PepsiCo Behaviors come naturally to the fore. It’s shown me that these are genuinely part of our DNA. For instance, our employees had no qualms about speaking out when they figured out that keeping 1.5 meters distance in the plant’s changing rooms was not doable. Reacting to this the Manufacturing Manager Alexander spontaneously came forward: ‘OK, I’ll sort it!’ In no time seven containers were placed on the parking lot, complete with lockers, freeing up space in the changing room to make distancing possible.

The determination, drive, and will to help I have seen among employees is unbelievable. Despite the difficult circumstances, everyone is focused on getting our products into the shops. Walking through a supermarket, I always check to see whether the aisle with crisps is well-stocked. And I always turn a bag around. If ‘BV’ is stamped on it, I know we made it here in Veurne. And I am definitely not the only one who does that. Everyone is truly dedicated. That’s heart-warming.”