Czarnikow is a global supply chain service company with 160 years of experience, whose purpose is to exert a positive economic and sustainable influence in its food, beverage and energy supply chains. Czarnikow buys, sells, moves and de-risks commodities through a range of services including trade finance, commodities trading, freight and logistics and price risk management. It has 10 offices around the world, and a presence in 15 countries.

Czarnikow designed their Learning at Work Week to support a move to virtual live training and learning across their global operations, particularly in response to challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the mental wellbeing of their colleagues that work in ten different time zones. 

The company has always supported wellbeing and mental health through gym memberships and workshops on topics such as mindfulness, coping with stress and nutrition. With office activities suspended due to the pandemic, the team quickly moved to online wellbeing activities. They offered these and the full programme of wider learning not only to colleagues but to their households, extended families and friends who would also benefit.   

The wellbeing sessions included yoga, tai chi and meditation, and covered nutrition and exercise. There were sessions on Women in the Workplace and Presenting Virtually. The programme also had sessions on new ways to manage business due to the pandemic. Colleagues could learn about Critical Thinking and join business specific sessions such as Derivatives for the Consumers Clients.  

The week was promoted through Czarnikow’s intranet and emails. Managers encouraged their teams to attend at weekly catch-ups. Directors embraced the virtual format and promoted their support of learning and the week to their teams. 

Learning at Work Week gave the learning and development team an opportunity to trial live virtual training, share the same training with all their staff, and understand how It would be taken up in their different locations and time zones. All colleagues attended at least one session. The week has helped employees embrace a new way of working from home, a new way of training and a new way of keeping well alongside their families and friends. It has helped the business adapt and bring together their people across the world. Colleagues have learned new virtual skills and the learning and development team will continue to deliver sessions virtually based on what they have learned.