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Report from Poland – HR services insights under COVID-19

Anjali Pendlebury-Green
May 21, 2020

Continuing our recent mini-series of articles on HR helpdesk trends during the COVID-19 pandemic, this time we’re going to share insights from our HR Services  team in Poland, from where Capgemini provides support to over 9,000 of its own employees.

As we’ve found when providing HR services for our clients, in the early stages of lockdown, we experienced much more call traffic in Poland. In uncertain times, people are insecure, and sometimes a little confused. That’s why they needed more direct support in making decisions, and the reassurance of a voice on the phone. These calls were handled via a soft phone service, enabling our HR team to work flexibly – either from home, or on a part-time basis from the office.

Traffic is back to normal levels now – not just for voice, but also for online service requests and emails – and various service improvements have helped to keep the numbers down.

Hot topics

In the first weeks of the crisis, we had to adapt quite quickly, and the nature of the questions we handled was varied. For example:

  • Childcare allowances – Polish schools and daycare centers closed in lockdown, and because many people felt they didn’t get enough relevant advance information from their government, they were in a quandary
  • Training – would it be cancelled? Would it now be via webinar? Employees were also looking ahead to training that was scheduled a few months into the future: would that still be happening, and if so, would things be back to normal?
  • Medical examinations – Polish people need a medical certificate in order to work. We took calls from people unsure about the medical exam procedure in lockdown, because official advice was unclear
  • Unscheduled absences – some employees were left geographically stranded when lockdown measures were imposed, and in other cases, the nature of people’s roles meant working from home was not an option.

Employee queries specific to COVID-19 itself were handled separately by a dedicated crisis team. We found this was a great way not just to provide support to our workforce, but also to monitor activity levels. It meant we could more easily act on the insights we gained, so as to help our people, while also maintaining business continuity.

The Polish Digital Employee Operations team before the COVID-19 lockdown

Bypassing documentation issues

Documentation was another problem area. Employees need to provide various forms of information to the HR team in order to meet government or company requirements, but in some cases they had no printer/scanner at home, and no means of access to one. At that point, physical signatures were still being required – so what were people to do?

Our team worked hard to reformat as much of the documentation as possible, so as to reduce the need for hard copies. For example, certificates of employment had previously needed signatures on hard copies, which were then distributed via the internal mail system. This has been replaced by an electronic system that is password-protected and that is therefore able to accept e-signatures, meaning certificates can now be distributed via the internal email system.

Similarly, changes have been made to the contracts of employment that are sent out by email to new joiners. If new employees have access to printers, they can print off a hard copy and return a signed scan. If they don’t have a printer, they follow a new procedure that the HR team has created with our in-house legal team: they reply by email, agreeing to individual terms and conditions as necessary, and in an officially acceptable manner.

Looking ahead

When the worst of the crisis is over, the HR team will need to catch up on all the paperwork that is currently being held in abeyance. As we can only predict how our “post-COVID” reality will look like, it’s hard to gauge to what extent digital solutions will replace old requirements and criteria for good.

Either way, Capgemini will not only do what is compliant, but more importantly employee-focused.

Crisis care package offers

To find out more about how Capgemini’s Digital Employee Operations can provide critical communication management and effective remote service delivery, as well as enable your workforce to operate at the right level of performance during crisis, contact: and

Read more  from our colleagues across the Capgemini Group about how they are helping our clients run their business operations during these challenging times.

Read other blogs in this series

This blog was written by Aneta Robak.

Aneta Robak manages the HR helpdesk team to deliver a high quality, professional and proactive service to the client. She conducts day-to-day analysis of teamwork and respective data to solve employees’ queries, escalations, and to look new areas for improvements in service delivery.