Supporting Viatris Colleagues: An Account of the Early Days of the Crisis in Ukraine

Quick Decisions

There is an old saying in crisis management: when stress levels go up, cognitive skills drop. But because of the proactive planning, the colleagues in Ukraine were able to communicate and act quickly, a key element in ensuring their safety.

For weeks, there had been conference calls with those employees. In addition to regional leaders, regional security as well as colleagues who oversee human relations, legal, supply chain and finance operations were critical to executing the plan.

Colleagues in Ukraine were sheltering in basements. Some were running out of food and water. To secure payroll, the accountant in charge of Ukraine had to find creative solutions to access the Viatris office in Kyiv due to shelling in the surrounding area.

Advance salaries were provided to people to assist with their evacuation. Later, the company also sent an additional stipend and figured out how to get it to people who were in transit.

The crisis team put its plans into action, with room for improvisation as circumstances took sharp turns. Decisions at the leadership level were quick, sound and enabled the activation of the plan that would prioritize people’s security.