Gustavo Mendes
Head of HR
MAN Truck & Bus México
View from the Top

Communication and Transparency Key to Building Trust

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 10/12/2020 - 06:00

Q: What is the role of an HR manager in dealing with the pandemic?

A: In this new context, we should not lose focus on people’s health. Engagement and adaptability are important to embrace change. The new role of HR managers is to pay close attention to uncertainties and vulnerabilities within the organization to make a difference. If the world is changing and we are not, this could be troublesome in the future. As leaders, we need to keep track of changes.

At MAN Truck & Bus, we are maintaining hybrid schemes where part of our administrative staff continues to work from home in compliance with local governmental regulations. Being attentive to changes also means embracing all available tools to improve the remote working experience. We were familiar with these digital tools before but naturally the pandemic accelerated this trend. Leadership models need to change in home office schemes to reach MAN Truck & Bus’ goals and targets. As Latins, we enjoy being with other people and working from home implies significant cultural changes as well.

Q: What is the most important factor in keeping motivation levels high?

A: Transparency is a really important element to maintain a high level of motivation. If we share the real situation of the company, we create trust. We need to be both realistic and optimistic in the face of a complicated scenario. Focusing our efforts on communicating clearly and responsibly about what is happening inside and outside the company generates motivation. Leaders need to be human, inspirational and motivational.

Q: How has MAN Truck & Bus promoted prevention among its employees?

A: A key element to ensure a prevention culture permeates the organization is communication. We have implemented all measures necessary to ensure our employees’ safety and our only COVID-19 cases occurred outside the plant while employees were away. Communication remains essential to adapt to a new normal and this ranges from simple WhatsApp messages to memos, internal reports, monthly meetings with managers towards employees as well as communications and releases.

Q: What have been the results of the implementation of NOM-035?

A: We started this process a year ago, using a survey and a psychologist. Of course, the norm has become more relevant given the next stage will take place in October, amid the new normal. This was a really good policy to implement across different sectors to accompany our teams from an emotional perspective. Physical well-being is important but it is complemented by emotional well-being. NOM -035 is necessary for the moment we are living in. It is a strong tool to improve the life quality of all members within an organization.

Q: What are the new abilities and skills being prioritized when hiring new applicants?

A: Flexibility and adaptability are really important skills among new talent. The ability to inspire, to be human and to manage emotions remain important. The pandemic introduced many challenges that can be emotional, as well. These skills are useful for all areas of the organization.

Online training remains an important element but we should not disregard the benefit of having both practical and online experiences. E-learning is powerful for learning any skill from anywhere. During the pandemic, we conducted more than 3,000 hours of training and more than 350 employees trained in different competences or technological tools. Digital skills are also important for current and new talent, as well. There are many opportunities for companies that invest in training.

Q: What areas within the organization will gain greater importance in a post-COVID-19 world?

A: Any position of leadership within a company is important for its structure because these people are the link between the employee and corporate management. They will play a relevant role in the adaptation process companies are undergoing. Health and safety professionals are also be essential.

Q: What are MAN Truck & Bus’ strategies to battle labor turnover?

A: Greater engagement with collaborators is a must to understand their needs. All companies have excellent working benefits and even the differences in salary are minimal. The decision of employees to leave is often driven by a lack of leadership. During the pandemic, we got even closer to our employees and we are committed to generating a social on people’s life.

One of the lessons we have learned through the pandemic is to pay close attention to people’s well-being, particularly their emotional well-being, to keep in close contact, to remain transparent and to have an optimistic perspective on the future. Crises are opportunities and everyone, including organizations, has an opportunity to continue growing.


MAN Truck & Bus has more than a decade of presence in the Mexican market with the MAN and Volkswagen Camiones y Autobuses brands. The company offers state-of-the-art solutions for cargo and passenger transport in Mexico. MAN Truck & Bus is part of the TRATON Group. 

Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst