8 Ways HR Professionals Are Responding to Covid-19
7 August 2020
We recently held a webinar with senior HR leaders from across Asia Pacific to discuss the impact that COVID-19 is having on their organization, the challenges they are facing, and how they are responding. Here is one highlight quote from each panelist.
Rajat Bhatia, Vice President & Board member (People & Culture) – Fareportal
The importance of communication and the need to create new global policies.
“We’ve been communicating as much as possible to individuals and teams at a global level through town halls. We’ve tried to engage with some of the medical experts and do town halls specifically on COVID, trying to address some of the concerns about COVID, how to manage some of those things. On the global policies, absolutely. We’ve been trying to run some standard policies across the organization.”
Adeline Foo, Head of Group Talent Acquisition – DKSH
The power of talent mapping and staying connected to global leaders.
“We do encourage engaging with the talent continuously. Our recruiters in the various markets continue to do talent mapping, engaging candidates informally. Now is a great time to engage them so that when the timing is right for us to do the search and recruitment again, they stay constantly reminded of our brand. Also improve employer branding, taking the opportunity to show that more on social media.”
Nicole Karagiannis, Executive Leader People and Culture – Disability Services Australia
How the pandemic has brought teams together and accelerated work trends.
“Getting good quality work implemented is definitely not just down to the HR team or the HR function or the crisis team, it’s been a true collaboration across all parts of the business in breaking down the silos that, ironically, we spent so long talking about breaking them down and it took a pandemic to all of a sudden see what true collaboration looks like.”
Sonia Kutty, Head, Global Human Resources – QuEST Global
Why we must take extra steps to support employee wellbeing.
“So the emotional part of an employee has got amplified during this period – anxiety about their jobs, anxiety about their health, anxiety about the future. I think that’s one thing that we have tried to address and our emphasis on making sure that we have health and safety, especially psychological safety programs, getting heightened.”
Craig Thomson, Chief Human Resources Officer – Essential Energy
Seeing the pandemic as a catalyst for change.
“So for us, from a policy procedure, from a culture, from an engagement, from a values point of view, I really think they’re the areas that are creating the greatest opportunities for us and probably a lot of other organizations. And I think the ones that don’t see this as a catalyst of change, I think they may struggle in attracting talent in the future because I think those organizations that really grasp this and take it forward will have a greater attraction strategy in terms of that workplace flexibility in the way things happen.”
Iker Urrutia, Sodexo HR Director – Corporate Services – APAC
The best way to learn is to do, but this can be tough remotely. We need to think of innovative ways to keep work shadowing, coaching, and mentoring alive.
“As for learning and development, I think one thing is digital platforms you can use but in the end, the most effective way to learn is to do, to learn on the job. So I think we need to still enable people to learn from others, to have coaching and mentoring, even if it’s remotely. So it’s not just about having an e-Learning platform, it is about combining all that in a blended learning approach in which people can learn on the job, can shadow other more senior staff, have mentoring and coaching. We have continued working in that but of course, doing that remotely.”
Linda Fan, Principal – Resource-Center Consulting Co. Ltd.
The importance of talent assessment to identify and utilize leaders with strong agile capabilities.
“So especially for the top management, when you help them to see what their agility and the agilibilty is, it will help them to have a clear understanding of who are the people who have strong skills in facing challenges, facing changes and encourage changes. So this outbreak is a good time for organizations to review and evaluate how the leadership team is agile or not agile.”