Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Blanc's message to our people on 4 November 2020.
Many parts of the world are experiencing a new surge of Coronavirus infections and governments are taking a variety of steps to try to halt or even push back the tide. While this is a pretty depressing reality to accept, we all have a responsibility to follow whatever restrictions are put in place and do whatever we can to help stop the spread of this virus.
What this setback should tell us is that normality (remember that?) won’t, unfortunately, return in the short term. We all must face into the constant change, strain, challenge and, let’s be honest, anxiety that living and working like this can bring.
Being separated from families and friends is hard. Not being able to work closely with colleagues is hard. Not being able to enjoy the basic freedoms we all take for granted is hard. I’m being polite when I describe this experience as incredibly frustrating.
But while this is undeniably hard, there is a silver lining to this cloud, if you know where to look. When the first lockdowns and restrictions hit, all of you showed what being One Aviva means by pulling together, changing the way we work and continuing to deliver for our customers. And, perhaps more importantly, you were there for each other.
So, while this isn't going to be easy for anyone, we’ve got to remember that we have each other and in a company like Aviva, that means something.
But in order for you to be able to support each other and our customers, Aviva needs to support you and that is my number one priority at the moment. We have a range of services and resources available in each market to help you get through this and we will continue to share and develop these as we listen to your feedback in the coming days.
In the meantime, as we face the prospect of an extended period of restrictions and for many of us, isolation, remember that we have been here before. We came out the other side (albeit briefly) in good shape. We showed ourselves and our customers that when life gives us lemons, we make lemonade.
And it’s that spirit I urge all of you to harness once again. I know you’re not superheroes. I know you have limits. And I know you all have your own personal situations that could make life really challenging in the coming weeks and months.
So please, look out for each other and look out for yourself. If you are struggling, there is support available from the Employee Assistance Programme and I urge you to use it. Please put your hand up for help – everyone needs it from time to time, no more so than now.
You, your family, your friends and your colleagues are what matter most at the moment and remember, no matter how bleak it might look right now, we will get through this.
Thank you and please stay safe.