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Messages on COVID-19 from CEO Chuck Sykes

Last week, I met with more than 700 members of SYKES leadership around the world to deliver updates on the current global health and business environment and our response to the COVID-19 situation. I also shared with them how encouraged I am by the way our teams around the world have responded, working around the clock to ensure the safety of our employees, the continuity of our business, and the security of our clients.

The world is facing a difficult situation right now, and the tough decisions governments are being forced to make have shifted the focus from public health and safety to a question of livelihood for many businesses and individuals. There is no question that this is stressful, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t just about us — the entire world is facing this pandemic together.

I want you to know that we are moving forward in this time of uncertainty with a strategy of preparedness, action and togetherness — as a company and a family. Since the beginning, we’ve taken steps to keep our employee and client networks informed through trusted sources, mitigate risk to our employees and our business, and plan for a sustainable model if this requires a long-term solution. From activating our Crisis Management Team and reorganizing our Corporate Emergency Response Team, to ensuring compliance within our sites around the world as government policies change by the hour — we have diligently worked toward a solution at every turn.

Even with all our standard preparations in place and quick adjustments, the fact remains that this is a complex and unprecedented event, which means that our path through it will be unpredictable. But as long as we’re able to keep our employees online and serve our clients from home, we will be working — we will be there to help and serve, one caring interaction at a time.

Our brand partners are noticing, too. Here are some statements from clients we’re proud to be helping through this:

“SYKES took a leadership role and took extreme ownership of the situation, and has also been very transparent, be it giving us feedback on what we can do better or giving updates from the ground on what’s happening.” – an American business and financial software company

“We are impressed with SYKES’ proactive move to work-from-home … and find SYKES very agile and responsive to the situation.” – an American multinational technology conglomerate

“SYKES’ responsiveness has outshined that of competitors.” – an American bank holding company

Words simply can’t express how proud I am of SYKES’ response in the face of this adverse, unpredictable and complicated situation. This is a historic time for the world, and in such moments, leaders emerge. That’s why SYKES is able to stand together — our people are stepping up, doing what it takes day in and day out, to get through whatever comes our way next.

Thank you for your time and attention throughout this difficult situation. As an employer and a partner, SYKES strives to provide the support you need as we face the COVID-19 crisis together. It is my sincere hope that our efforts and those of enterprises, communities and governments around the world will empower containment of the virus and a enable a speedy recovery worldwide.


 

March 17, 2020 – While I write this, the world is bracing itself against an international health crisis. As a company, SYKES is closely monitoring how COVID-19 is affecting our community and family across the globe. We are making every effort to support and comply with the decisions of health officials and government leaders to help contain the virus.

In my message last week, I stated that SYKES is committed to the health and safety of our 55,000+ employees and ensuring business continuity for the brands we serve, and in that regard, nothing has changed. We recognized the need early on for a proactive and flexible crisis management action plan, which we have already put into effect and are communicating readily across our enterprise. As we learn more about COVID-19 through trusted sources, we will continue to adapt our business as necessary, contingent on science-based information and the needs of our employees and business partners.

The nature of our business presents some challenges as well as advantages in situations such as this. Because we have sites worldwide — many in highly affected areas — we must take every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our employees, their families and the surrounding communities. Most relevant to our clients, we implemented a restricted travel policy that applies not only to our own employees, but to client visitors as well. We are postponing large-scale events and transitioning as many employees as possible to a virtual environment. For those in our sites, we are continuing to educate and reinforce safe behaviors such as proper hand hygiene and social distancing, and have partnered with manufacturers to source as many sanitizers and protective supplies as we can. Additionally, we have protocols in place to ensure proper cleaning and sanitizing based on recommendations by government and health agencies.

One aspect of our business that we are able to take advantage of in light of such complications is our work-at-home capability. SYKES has and will continue to transition accounts to home-based operations if the need arises. While it is a complex shift to make on such a large scale, we are committed to working closely with our employees and clients to execute as smoothly as possible.

Thank you for your time and attention throughout this difficult situation. As an employer and a partner, SYKES strives to provide the support you need as we face the COVID-19 crisis together. It is my sincere hope that our efforts and those of enterprises, communities and governments around the world will empower containment of the virus and a enable a speedy recovery worldwide.


 

March 5, 2020 – I’d like to take this opportunity to address the recent escalation and global spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As a global company, SYKES is committed to the health and safety of our 55,000+ employees around the world and ensuring business continuity for the brands we serve. As a family, SYKES is devoted to ensuring that our employees, brand partners and shareholders feel supported and confident in how we respond in the face of adversity.

First and foremost, we’re taking steps to provide accurate, up-to-date, informed communications by staying connected to appropriate and reliable resources. The “SYKES Pandemic Plan” follows the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global pandemic phases and recommendations, and we have already increased employee communications and cleaning/disinfecting efforts in impacted regions where we operate. We also offer one of the largest virtual workforces in our industry which allows us, in extreme situations, to transition agents, lines of business and even entire accounts to a home-based model if necessary — a strategy we have successfully deployed in the past.

Prevention is still our main focus, so we are encouraging all colleagues, family and friends to take every precaution necessary to stay healthy! Thank you for your attention and consideration — it is my sincere hope that SYKES’ actions and communications regarding COVID-19 allow our employees and clients to feel fully supported and confident throughout this situation.