HR in WarHow has Laminar tackled its two biggest problems in wartime?
HR in War
How has Laminar tackled its two biggest problems in wartime?
The company is carefully balancing the personal needs of its employees with the business needs of its customers.
The main challenge was to decide which employees would continue working and how to manage and prioritize the tasks and missions among them,” explained Osnat Furhang, Director of Human Resources at Laminar. “Team members who were not drafted into the reserves opted to continue working while taking the time they needed for their specific situations.”
HR in War explores how companies in Israel are adapting in unusual times. CTech believes the world should know about the atrocities committed on 7/10 while also highlighting the continued resolve and resistance of the Israeli tech ecosystem.
“The second challenge was and still is, keeping the balance between the flexibility given to the employees, enabling them to process the war situation and face the consequences of it, while maintaining a work routine and encouraging the employees to keep that kind of work routine,” she added.
Company name: Laminar. (Recently acquired by Rubrik) Your name and title: Osnat Furhang, Director of Human Resources Names of founders and upper management: Amit Shaked and Oran Avraham Field of activity: Cyber Number of employees: ~50 Office location: Tel Aviv
On a scale of 1-10, how much did the war disrupt operations at the company?
Three. During the last five weeks, a large number of our employees were unable to work as usual. Many were recruited to active reserve duty, and the rest struggled with difficulties at home. In addition, some of our employees found themselves out of the country on Oct 7, and it took time for them to return to Israel. After the shock of the first few days, in which the company provided time to process the difficult events, we started to organize business activities to minimize the impact on customers.
Our mission was to provide support to employees who remained on the home front while backfilling for those recruited into the reserves. Thus, many employees took it upon themselves to perform critical tasks (both work-related and on a personal level) to support those who went to the reserves. At a time when most of us find it difficult to work as usual, we are able to provide more flexibility and inclusion of employee needs and, in turn, we have seen that employees give more of themselves. These days, some Laminar employees work remotely and others choose the most suitable work format for them in terms of location, hours, and scope of work. Many employees volunteer to help the evacuees and soldiers, each according to their ability, and this also contributes to cohesion and motivation.
The ability to provide flexibility while at the same time fully supporting business needs is something we are committed to.
What consequences have you experienced from these disruptions?
The major and sudden reduction in the active workforce, including managers, who were called to reserve duty, resulted in other employees taking on more responsibilities and roles in order to enable “business as usual”. The work plan for the current period was updated and revised, including updated prioritization in order to align with the active workforce.
What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?
The main challenge was to decide which employees would continue working and how to manage and prioritize the tasks and missions among them. Team members who were not drafted into the reserves opted to continue working while taking the time they needed for their specific situations.
The second challenge was and still is, keeping the balance between the flexibility given to the employees, enabling them to process the war situation and face the consequences of it, while maintaining a work routine and encouraging the employees to keep that kind of work routine.
This routine created the stability of the business and its ability to continue to serve customers.
What support do you provide to employees?
Employees were enabled to work from anywhere, including from abroad, since many couldn’t or preferred not to come to the office. The office was kept open and anyone that felt more secure working from the office could do that.
We were fortunate that our global parent company, Rubrik, was engaged from the first moment and showed enormous support, solidarity, and understanding of the situation, including the constraints arising from recruiting employees for the reserves. Rubrik even launched a project that allowed its employees around the world to donate to the "United Hatzalah" organization, while matching and donating a dollar for every dollar contributed by the employees.
In addition, Rubrik extended its mental health resources to Laminar employees and their families for emotional and mental support. This offering is a resource during the complex times we are currently experiencing and will remain a permanent offering for our team.
Last but not least: the HR team was in constant contact with employees and, in some cases, their families to support, listen, and take care of any challenge that employees were facing.
Do you have employees with foreign citizenship who asked to work from another country? If so, has movement been requested/approved?
Some employees, regardless of citizenship, requested to work from abroad. We enabled their request to allow them to feel secure and at the same time to contribute to the business.
How do you communicate the situation to customers? Do you see hostility or support?
The impact on existing customers was minimal since there was a huge effort to maintain product stability and support. In the day-to-day interactions, we received support from customers that are aware of the war in Israel, and appreciation for the company’s efforts to maintain regular support and development plans for the product.
In the event employees feel they encounter hostility, how do you guide them to respond to the situation?
We proactively work to prevent such situations and fully support employees in managing their feelings. We encourage our team members to approach us, and together, we decide on the best course of action based on the specific details of the situation. We prefer to avoid introducing conflicts into the company's operations and address issues separately.