Tencent COVID-19 Response Handbook

The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted countless lives, communities, and businesses worldwide. Organizations around the world are coming together to find innovative ways to minimize the impact of workforce well-being and limit the disruption to their business operations. Tencent is no exception. As a leading technology company with headquarters in China and offices in 16 countries, Tencent sets all employees’ health and safety as the top priority. Since the first reported cases, Tencent has taken a proactive, employees-first approach to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is mitigated and the disruption to business operations is kept at a minimum.

Facing such an unprecedented global pandemic, there is hardly any previous experience to pull from. Tencent rapidly formed a cross-functional responding team and turned into remote working mode. We strategically decided to use a phased return-to-work approach in China while we are still facing enormous challenges – travel restrictions within China and worldwide, insufficient protective supplies, potential exposure risk of close contact in the office, financial burden on the company, etc.

In an effort to help decision-makers of our valuable partners to make meaningful relief, we summarized this document with experiences, lessons learnt and toolkits.

Together, we can be stronger after this!

Our Guiding Principles of Responding to COVID-19 as A Company

1. Employees' well-being as the top priority
2. Business continuity with a brand new remote working norm
3. Provide transparency of all actions and activities
4. Collaborate as a team globally
5. Keep calm and show confidence

Six Key Measures to Ensure A Safe Workplace

Measure One: Phased Return-To-Work Approach

1.During outbreak:

All staff are required to work from home and any request to enter the office needs to be approved by senior leadership team.
All non-essential business trips and meetings are being suspended.
Shuttle bus services are being suspended.

2.Post the peak:

Phase I – First 3 days as a trial: 30% of staff who have passed all self-quarantine requirements return to work.
Phase II – The following 2 weeks: staff who have passed all self-quarantine requirements are equally divided into 2 groups to take different shifts to be present in the office.
Phase III – All staff return to work.

Measure Two: Comprehensive quarantine policy and enforcement

To mitigate any potential risks, we designed a comprehensive list of scenarios where a mandatory 14 days self-quarantine needs to take place before returning to work with a confirmed ok health condition.

Measure Three: Practicing Precautionary Measures

1.Disinfecting public areas at least on a daily basis: not just the areas that are seen such as shuttle buses, elevators and restrooms, but also all the places behind the scenes (e.g. air conditioner filters, building ventilation systems, etc.).
2.Providing employees with masks on a weekly basis with 10 each week.
3.Placing hand-sanitizers throughout the company.
4.Measuring temperature before entering the office.
5.Closing cafeterias and catering food to individual in bento boxes with an internal ordering system.
6.Encouraging staff to avoid public transportations and promoting taking company shuttles, which are disinfected twice a day, and wearing masks all the way.

Measure Four: Promoting Social Distancing

1.Requiring employees to wear masks all the time in the office.
2.Enforcing a practice of keeping at least 1-meter social distance. Encouraging the use of stairs for low-level floors.
3.Suspending operations of gym and common workout areas.
4.Moving all the in-person meetings online. This is not only for internal meetings, but for external meetings in order to take responsibility for the larger community. When an in-person meeting is a must, all attendees need to wear a mask and keep 1-meter distance.
5.A creative and effective way we implemented to ensure social distancing when using elevator is to segment it into 9 squares, 6 squares or 4 squares depending on the size of the elevator to limit the number of people allowed to enter at one time.

Measure Five: Health Check-in

To understand our employees’ health situation timely and accurately, we built a regular check-in survey. The survey submission will generate a pass that allows employees to enter the office in China if their health condition being claimed ok. If a person is exhibiting symptoms or potential symptoms, a required quarantine will kick in. To protect employees’ privacy, we carefully reviewed applicable local health regulations and data privacy laws to ensure that the balance between public health and employee privacy was achieved.

Measure Six: Continuous COVID-19 Education & Reminders

1. We launched online compulsory course for all staff to ensure everyone is aware of Covid-19 policies and guidelines.
2. With the use of our internal learning platform, articles, learning materials and online training regarding COVID-19 and its preventive measures were shared to all employees globally and updated periodically.

Closure and Reflections

Every day we face new challenges and conflicting factors when making decisions. When we go down the rabbit hole, we always remind ourselves of our principles - our employees are our most valuable assets and we place their well-being as our first priority.

Working from home doesn’t mean that things will slow down and be suspended. When employees are involved to help the community, schools, other businesses and the whole world, they are motivated and even more committed to our core company values - “Value for Users, Tech for Good”. Countless people are working nonstop searching for medical supplies, expanding Cloud bandwidth, organizing little but meaningful logistical details to ensure our employees' well-being.

Reacting to a crisis like this can truly test an organization’s agility. As a company with over 60,000 employees worldwide and a set of internal decision-making processes, many decisions have been made in a more agile way. Employees rely on leaders and managers at all levels to take actions and set the tone. Our core leadership team, including our founders, C-suite executives and key business leaders, all lead by example and work tirelessly to do the right thing for our company, our employees and our communities. During these trying times, it is important that we remain optimistic and resilient while relying on our guiding principles to ensure the highest levels of success and employee well-being.

While there are still a lot of unknowns ahead of us, we are confident that together, we can be stronger after this.


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