Customer Story

Belfius

Customer Profile

Belfius, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is the second largest bank insurer in the region.

Keeping Staff Safe During COVID-19

8,000+ Employees

reached via SMS to report travel outside of country

81.2%

alert response rate from staff

98%
of employees safely work remote during lockdown for business continuity

Challenge

In January 2020, Belfius began following the COVID-19 outbreak in China, intent on ensuring business continuity and safety if the pandemic reached Belgium. As the pandemic began to spread through Italy in February, the firm learned that a number of staff members had been there on holiday. To prevent the virus from entering the workplace and endangering their employees, Belfius sought to quickly notify those who had taken more than three consecutive days off and traveled outside of Belgium that they were required to self-quarantine for seven days.

“Thanks to OnSolve Critical Communications, we managed to keep the virus outside of our premises.”
— Ludo Jappens
Business Continuity and Crisis Management, Belfius

Solution

Outside of business hours, the most effective way to reach the affected staff was through SMS text. Belfius used the translation feature of the OnSolve® Critical Communications system to ask 1,357 employees in Dutch and French if they had traveled to Italy or elsewhere outside of Belgium by plane, train or bus. Those who had were asked to work from home for seven days.

After the initial alert was sent, Belfius employees were able to track and see who had not replied to the message. Later that day, a second alert was sent to the distribution list that contained recipients who never replied. When the results were reviewed the following day, answers had been received from 81.2% of the staff members. One in five agreed to a voluntary quarantine of one week. The 220 individuals who did not reply were denied physical access to the Belfius building.

Some of the non-responders indicated that they were reluctant to answer an SMS sent from
a number they did not recognize. To address this, OnSolve supported Belfius in switching the outgoing number to a short code for Belgium. The local, more recognizable number generated more accurate recipient feedback, and as a result, empowered Belfius continuity teams with improved insight to take additional action.

Results

Thanks to OnSolve Critical Communications, Belfius managed to keep the COVID-19 virus out of its offices, despite employee-wide holiday travel to pandemic ‘hot spots.’ As cases began to  spread through Belgium and workers became infected, many companies were forced to lock down. Belfius maintained operational resiliency during this time so that when Belgium mandated a lockdown on March 13, 98% of Belfius employees were able to work from home successfully, without jeopardizing business operations or compromising safety.

By using OnSolve Critical Communications, Belfius managed and established a critical
communications infrastructure trusted by its more 8,000+ employee base to handle ongoing communications related to remote working and the pandemic.

More about Belfius

Belfius, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is the second largest bank insurer in the region. The company offers banking services including personal banking, insurance, loans, real estate financing, asset management, savings accounts, credit cards and more. Belfius serves individuals, corporate clients, institutions and local authorities throughout Belgium, including 50% of Belgian companies.