We’re happy to announce that we have successfully opened a new retail station in Tepa in the Ashanti region of Ghana. We were honoured that, alongside Puma Energy employees, the opening was also attended by the Chief of Tepa and his council of elders, who thanked the Puma Energy team for their support and congratulated everyone involved. This new addition to our network takes the number of retail stations to 83 across the country. Thank you to everyone involved for their support in making the Tepa retail site opening a reality.
Now more than ever, it is essential we continue to pay close attention to both our own mental health, as well as that of others. To support these efforts, our Puma Bitumen team in Australia has set up a comprehensive mental health program to ensure that our colleagues are given the faculties and support to manage any feelings of stress or anxiety during and after the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown. The program covers a broad range of useful skills, from the importance of exercise and maintaining routine, to helping solve difficulties with sleeping. We are also sending weekly challenges under our ‘Power of Positivity’ initiative, to encourage our staff to make time for themselves and others. We recognise our staff as our most valued assets, and strive to provide the support that they need.
We are incredibly grateful to all of our essential workers who, throughout this global crisis, have continued to execute their work brilliantly. In times of crisis, it can however be easy to forget our every day routine. Our HSE team here at Puma Energy have put together a set of posters to remind all of us about the importance of safe operations. All the hazards that existed before are still present, and it is more important than ever to ensure we maintain our own good health.
As COVID-19 continues to affect societies around the world, it is important to remember the other, less obvious side-effects the virus may have. As human beings, we are social creatures by nature, which is why many medical professionals have commented on the consequences that social distancing could have on our mental health. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all be caused by a lack of interaction, and to tackle this, Puma Energy has launched its ‘Rapid Response Helpline’ for our employees. Manned by professional counsellors, this new service is designed to assist our employees with their emotional well-being during this crisis, and to offer support and counselling for anybody affected by the mental and emotional pressures brought by COVID-19. Regardless of the nature of your concern, a friendly voice and some good advice can make a world of difference. Thank you to the People and Culture team for your hard work to set this brilliant service up.
At Puma Energy, many of our hardworking colleagues are performing essential services and are working on the frontline every day. We must ensure they are all able to perform these tasks in the safest and most responsible way possible. Our team here in Myanmar have been strictly adhering to social distancing and sanitisation measures, keeping safe by wearing Personal Protective Equipment, frequently washing their hands and using hand sanitiser, and maintaining the recommended level of distance from colleagues and customers. In addition to keeping safe, it is important for us to keep our communities energised. Which is why our team in the region have been posting public-spirited messages on social media that include words of encouragement, and tips for keeping safe. Here is video we have shared that outlines tips on staying safe when making essential journeys on public transport:
The brilliant team in Singapore are refusing to let isolation dampen our team spirit! Whilst adhering to health recommendations, our team have held weekly themed Skype calls to put the ‘social’ in social distancing. And much to everyone’s pleasure, this week we combined ‘Fancy Hat Friday’ with ‘Bring Your Pet’ day. The calls have been a great way to keep up morale and have also given us the opportunity to discuss business matters, COVID-19-related health and safety updates, and the range of Puma Learning Tools available for remote-working. Keep up the good work everyone and start preparing for group yoga and our ‘virtual walkabout’!
We are immensely proud of our staff in South Africa, for their brilliant hard work and commitment to both our customer’s safety, and their own. Given the importance of social distancing, our retail team in the region have introduced a great new initiative to support our customers. The new ‘order and collect’ service will allow customers to place their order through WhatsApp, and have everything available to pick up in less than an hour. To maximise safety, the products will then be brought to the customer’s cars to minimise any form of contact with both people and cash. Social distancing can only work if we all do our part and behave responsibly, so thank you to our brilliant and thoughtful team for going the extra mile!
Business continuity can be difficult during these unprecedented times as we adapt to the ‘new normal’ - and in some countries, unexpected and unique challenges can present themselves! Our team in Papua New Guinea, for example, needed to procure laptops for people working from home, but couldn’t find anywhere to buy them. The usual commercial suppliers were no longer operating, and so the team reached out to the local IT Technical College which had closed, to reach a deal to lease 50 of their idle laptops. Brilliant thinking from our colleagues in PNG, and we hope similar challenges are being overcome by all!
At Puma Energy, we strive to create a culture of inclusion; a safe place of work where every employee feels empowered and inspired to be themselves. So, to mark International Women's Day today, we are delighted to launch our new Women's Initiative Network called WIN@Pumaenergy. Our aim is to promote the development of our female employees, giving them the skills and confidence to grow at the company. It is open to all and we have ensured that mentoring and sponsorship opportunities are available as part of this new network. We are also going to be engaging with the communities in which we operate and supporting their local women's initiatives. Special thanks goes to Nadia Dar who has played a key role in the creation of the network and Eghosa Oriaikhi Mabhena, the network's senior sponsor. We are excited to see how we can inspire the women of our future.
Last month we celebrated the inaugural ‘Puma Energy Tanzania Dealer Awards’ (Side bar - Dealer Awards are not a first for Puma Energy, but were introduced in Tanzania this year). The awards recognise the contributions of our Dealers across the country and their role in the overall success of the company. As a business that revolves around our customers, we want to motivate and challenge our Dealers to provide the best service possible and ensure we are doing everything in our power to meet our customers’ needs. At the ceremony this year we also rewarded the Dealers who go continually above and beyond for our customers, to show our appreciation for all their hard work. A huge congratulations to all this year’s winners. Keep it up!