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Having dedicated 23 years of her career with RGE Group, Grace Nelwan has been heavily involved in decision making process in many precarious situations. The latest being on how to prioritize employees’ safety in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure employees productivity is maintained.

Part of the Covid-19 handling task force for APRIL Jakarta office, Grace said that from the beginning, the company has tried its best to ensure employees are protected amid challenging situations. It has not been easy, but quick and anticipatory action has resulted in new work guidelines being implemented effectively in recent months.

"We are fortunate to have the top management's full attention in formulating effective prevention efforts, and ensuring how employees remain confident, safe and keeping up the spirit at work." said Grace, who is now the GM of Talent and Development at APRIL Indonesia.

Several new work guidelines have been implemented since the end of February, including restrictions on foreign and domestic travels to strengthen requirements to visit factories in Riau. Especially in the Jakarta office, different time shifts and working hours, work from home for employees who are pregnant and/or aged over 60 years, strict health protocols, and providing access to transportation are enforced. To support work, several conveniences have also been prepared, such as providing access to work from home through the use of RDWeb, borrowing laptop and giving compensation for internet data package needs.

For this woman, who completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University from the Department of Human Resource (HR) Management and a master's degree at San Diego State University from the Department of International Business and Management in the United States, said that finding the right solution in dealing with 'crisis' has always been challenging for the HR department. However, there are many lessons to be learned from this incident that are in line with supporting the corporate vision of Good for Company.

One of Grace's unforgettable experiences is 22 years ago when the 1998 financial crisis occurred in Southeast Asia and hit the Indonesian economy. This is the first experience of this mother of one child to find a solution to a crisis, that time handling demands from the worker union in the midst of an uncertain situation.

Another favorite moment for this woman who have been in love and immersed with HR since junior high school is when she is given a place to share her experiences. One of which is by providing sharing sessions on the "HR Accreditation" program, namely training for new HR practitioners in the RGE Group which has been conducted since 2010. Unfortunately, the implementation of the fourth year has been delayed due to the pandemic this year.

Working at APRIL, a company that prioritizes sustainability spurs Grace to contribute to realizing a better earth. Grace, who likes cross stitching as her hobby, applies the principle of Good For Climate in her daily activities in various ways, for example always providing a multipurpose bag to replace plastic bags, bringing her own drinking bottles and not using plastic straws. This iscertainly helping to educate her family to adopt the same behavior.

"Based on the company’s internal survey conducted in Indonesia and Brazil, the criteria for a company that cares about sustainability ranked first as the ideal company that candidates dream of. This result can be an advantage for APRIL Group, which is very committed to implementing sustainable business practices,” said Grace.

In the midst of the pandemic, Grace ensures that APRIL Group's performance remains strong and business activities continue to run as usual, including the recruitment process. Amid high unemployment rates and reduced wages in some companies, the situation is the opposite in APRIL Group.

"To this day, there has been no reduction in the total of employees and no directive for salary cut. On the contrary, the recruitment process at the company is continuing and the need to find new candidates in various departments has not decreased at all," said Grace.

Being a female leader in a company that prioritizes sustainability, it never crossed Grace’s mind to work for another organization. For her, APRIL is an ideal workplace that provides equal opportunities that is not limited to gender or nationality. Certainly, the support from her family, which has been her support system, has also greatly influenced Grace's current role, seeking the best talent and encouraging the development of employee quality at one of the largest pulp and paper companies in Asia.

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