As we prepare for the rapidly developing COVID-19 virus, we would like to remind you of the resources available to help you prepare your organization. Many businesses are transitioning to increased remote work, and moving large events onto digital platforms. But this is just one of many large challenges facing your organization. From the disruption to your business models, supply chains and revenue streams, to addressing the company’s responsibility for helping employees in the face of many forms of disruption in a highly uncertain and stressful period are weighing heavily on your company and on the HR function.
Our CEO researchers have compiled a diverse list of resources that may be of help to you and your teams as you move through this period of uncertainty. We will be adding to this over the next several weeks and months.
Source: Center for Effective Organizations (updated April 1, 2020)
Source: i4cp (Updated April 6, 2020)
Source: MIT Sloan (updated April 6, 2020)
Source: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) ( (Updated March 31, 2020)
Source: Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) (Updated April 6, 2020)
Source: Center for Effective Organizations (updated April 1, 2020)
By Theresa M. Welbourne April 1, 2020
We did this study before the COVID-19 virus consumed our lives with canceled meetings, foregone spring breaks and vacations, empty grocery shelves, and concern about family, friends, and colleagues. However, when I review these data and think about what’s happening today, it’s obvious the topic of equality is even more relevant than I thought it was a month ago. Who receives tests? Who gets financial help? How are decisions made about who gets into emergency rooms vs. waits? Whose jobs are saved, and who gets laid off? Overnight, questions about equality may indeed be more important than discussions about diversity, belonging, inclusion, and more. Are certain subgroups in society treated differently, and are some groups differentially affected and perhaps need more help than others?
Dealing with Rough Times – A Capabilities Development Approach to Surviving and Thriving
Susan Albers Mohrman and Christopher G. Worley
Leaders during a deep and prolonged downturn should introduce organizational practices that build capability in the organization, not only to withstand the uncertainties of rough times better, but also to emerge stronger for the future. We present a set of organization design changes that can create closer connections to the marketplace and better use knowledge in the organization to introduce new ways to deliver value while consuming fewer resources. During rapid change and extreme threats, steering the ship is not sufficient. Leaders must introduce approaches that tap employees’ energies throughout the organization.
Theresa M. Welbourne, PhD
With wide-spread work from home directives for those whose jobs allow, millions of workers are at risk of losing a key piece of their social safety nets: The connection they feel to their co-workers.
The coronavirus and COVID-19 may force us into prolonged “social distancing,” but it does not have to follow that we lose our work-centered relationships and support. In fact, a long-running trend in employee engagement can help alleviate employee fears, lift spirits, and maintain productivity. And, even better, we want to keep relational capital in place even as workers balance the new demands of home and work all at once.
Coronavirus Employer Update – 4/6
Here’s a recap of the research, next practices, and more posted to i4cp’s Coronavirus Employer Resource Center in the last week–and what lies ahead–to help you make critical decisions for your organization.
Thanks to the thousands of organizations who are contributing to our ongoing research. Here’s what we published last week:
- Productivity & Health
Employers’ Plans for Office Closures Extending Out
Is the Coronavirus Driving User-Generated Learning Content?
- Total Rewards
Many Employers Moving to Contain Headcount Costs if Pandemic Persists
- Talent Acquisition
35% Say Their Organizations are Lowering Headcount Projections
Don’t Let the Shift to Remove Work Sabotage Your Inclusion Initiatives
50+ (and Growing) Next Practices
Read what organizations such as Costco, Fred Meyer, AT&T, Domino’s, Instacart, Tyson, and Netflix are doing.
COVID-19 Business Response Virtual Series
Hundreds of organizations participate each week to share best and next practices. This week’s meetings:
- Diversity & Inclusion Action – April 7, 1pm ET
Featuring Jackie Hunter, Banner Health
- Talent Acquisition Action – April 8, 1pm ET
Featuring Kevin Darby, Domino’s
- Learning & Development Action – April 9, 11am ET
Featuring Brenda Sugrue, EY, and Joe Garbus, Marsh
- Total Rewards Action – April 9, 1pm ET
Featured Denise Daniels, child psychologist
- CHRO Action – April 10, 1pm ET
Featuring Scott Smith, AT&T Communications, and Michael Fraccaro, Mastercard
COVID-19 Discussion Forums
Share ideas, ask questions, and help your peers in this open forum for human capital decision makers. It only takes 20 seconds to set up an account.
In order to address the rapidly developing coronavirus outbreak and its unprecedented impact, i4cp is mobilizing our community of world class HR leaders, our expert research team, and our online platform to help. While we’ve created broad communication vehicles to date, in conversations with our members it’s clear that each HR function is experiencing unique challenges. In response, we are launching specific channels to address these challenges by area of focus (total rewards, talent acquisition, L&D, etc.) and connect you to the appropriate experts, as well as the latest resources.
Source: Harvard Business Review
Don’t Hide Bad News in Times of Crisis by Amy C. Edmondson
If sunshine is the best disinfectant, the opposite is also true: Dark, hidden corners are great places to grow something truly horrible. Few problems improve with age, and public health crises are no exception. Transparency is “job one” for leaders in a crisis. Be clear what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re doing to learn more. You can’t manage a secret, as the old saying goes.
The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 and originated in Wuhan, China has now spread to dozens of countries around the world and affected thousands of people. This epidemic has become a wake-up call for companies to seriously review the strategies, policies, and procedures they have in place to protect their employees, customers, and operations both for this virus and future ones as well. The article highlights the most important questions companies should ask when preparing and responding to the spread of the coronavirus. Moreover, while diligent planning for global health emergencies can help better protect organizations, companies should use this situation to both optimize and test their plans for the inevitable next agent in the future.
McKinsey & Company stresses that this is a rapidly changing situation and will be updating their assessment as needed.
The coronavirus is not only a health crisis of immense proportion—it’s also an imminent restructuring of the global economic order. Here’s how leaders can begin navigating to what’s next.
Everything has changed. Just a few weeks ago, all of us were living our usual busy lives. Now, things normally taken for granted—an evening with friends, the daily commute, a plane flight home—are no longer possible. Daily reports of increasing infections and deaths across the world raise our anxiety and, in cases of personal loss, plunge us into grief. There is uncertainty about tomorrow; about the health and safety of our families, friends, and loved ones; and about our ability to live the lives we love.
Managers can’t push the pause button on capability building, so the moment belongs to virtual learning. Some tactics and strategies can help.
Coronavirus: Confronting the Crisis: How organizations can respond, and what happens next
The coronavirus pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on leaders in business and beyond. The humanitarian toll taken by COVID-19 creates fear among employees and other stakeholders. The massive scale of the outbreak and its sheer unpredictability make it challenging for executives to respond. Indeed, the outbreak has the hallmarks of a “landscape scale” crisis: an unexpected event or sequence of events of enormous scale and overwhelming speed, resulting in a high degree of uncertainty that gives rise to disorientation, a feeling of lost control, and strong emotional disturbance. 1
Summary: Faster product development cycles and rapidly evolving technologies are accelerating business disruptions. Companies facing recurring transitions typically respond by cutting costs, exiting a geographic area, streamlining supply chains, or revamping their brand. However, a survey of 954 managers in North America and Europe suggests that these strategies are less important to success through upheavals than investment in their work cultures. This article outlines different ways in which organizations can leverage their human capital to build a successful disruption-ready culture – integrating business and people strategies, empowering and engaging employees to make them feel valued, and investing in skills development.
There is a lot to learn from how companies in China have been coping with COVID-19. Current projections suggest it’s only a matter of time before your organization is dealing with the same kinds of challenges. In this article, we share a list of evidence-based recommendations that can go a long way toward ensuring your company is prepared to maintain operations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Summary: The coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19 has caused, and will create, global economic disruption. People are hoarding supplies, markets are gyrating, and governments are restricting travel. The need for organizational continuity in this time of crisis requires leadership that guides people into the future despite its risks and uncertainties. Drawing on fifteen years of field research in crisis leadership, the author of this article outlines three areas of activity that help foster high performance by teams – and the larger enterprise – through turbulent disruptions: Adaptive Capacity, Resilience, and Trust. The article explores how companies can build these practices in order to lead through disruptive events in general, and COVID-19 in particular.
The art of effective crisis leadership focuses on three interdependent areas of activity. Being mindful of these areas will help you foster sustained high performance from your teams during a crisis.
This collection of popular MIT SMR articles related to supply chain resilience, leading remote teams, and risk management offers practical strategies for leaders and companies to manage and respond to large-scale disruptions as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact global business.
Many organizations control for known, internal variables but fail to track external factors as potential disrupters. This can lure decision makers into a false sense of security. Broadening your approach to planning can keep you from getting disrupted out of the market.
Speaking up early and truthfully is a vital strategy during a fast-moving crisis. Absent data on what’s not working, it’s all but impossible to know what to fix and how to fix it. But with accurate information, leaders and subject-matter experts alike can turn their attention and skills to the challenges of developing novel solutions to newly visible problems.
By now, the arc of disruption is well established, so why are companies still so vulnerable to disruptive threats? Well-intentioned leaders often downplay disruptive threats or overestimate the difficulty of response — or, in simpler terms, they lie to themselves. This makes dealing with disruption not just an innovation challenge but a leadership challenge.
By Dr. David Rock in Forbes
With more companies considering increasing virtual work—especially given the new and potentially lasting concerns about the Coronavirus—now might be a good time to brush up on the best ideas from science for how to make virtual work a lot less…well, work.
By Deborah Netburn in LA Times
It’s only natural that you’re obsessing about the #coronavirus, but that anxiety is neither healthy nor necessary. Here’s why you should stop, and how to do it.
Join Dr. David Rock and Dr. Jay Van Bavel as they examine the impact this ongoing health scare is having on leaders and employees. They will identify the big decisions leaders need to make, the biases that may cloud adaptive thinking, and the opportunities that exist to make virtual work a reliable (and maybe even superior) alternative.
A Now of Work Digital Meetup, powered by Leapgen
Access Key Insights from The Wall Street Journal on the Coronaviru
|Download a special report with WSJ’s guide to coping with the outbreak.|
|Join a WSJ Webinar on How Companies Can Adjust for Coronavirus Impact|
10 myths about COVID-19
As infections with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to increase, there has been a concurrent increase in news and data, both accurate and inaccurate. Therefore, we have undertaken a review of a considerable amount of this information, and attempted to clarify some of the most recurrent misconceptions.
Giving Exclusive Transparency In Light of COVID19
March 18 COVID-19 Pandemic Response Survey
Building from a series of member Virtual Sessions in mid-March, this 10-question COVID-19 survey addresses topics where no clear best practice emerged in our discussions.
The results below are organized into three sections:
Section A: Remote Work and Social Distancing (pg. 2)
Section B: Recruiting, Onboarding and Terminations (pg. 8)
Section C: Compensation and General Wellbeing (pg. 11)
• Wyndham Destinations
• Aditya Birla
• National Australian Bank
• JT International
• Wolters Kluwer
• COFRA Holding
To download the results please click the link below but don’t forget to come back and fill out our form!
Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing exclusive members only content as it pertains to COVID19 with our entire audience. Our members are on the frontline of this crisis and your safety is our primary concern.
EN has recently hosted a number of Emergency Sessions and we have polled our members on shared crisis topics of concern, including:
▪ Travel Restrictions
▪ Site Access
▪ Response Protocols
▪ Social Distancing & Remote work
▪ Impacts on Compensation
▪ Recruiting & Hiring
▪ Crisis Management
Disruptions continue to impact our organisations, with the most recent COVID-19. Whether you’re ready or not, this has forced organisations to work more virtually. One of our ODI board has collated this set of virtual working best practices and top tips.
As uncertainty regarding the extent of COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues, companies are prioritizing the physical and financial wellbeing of their employees in the worst affected areas. In light of the ripple effect being felt around the world, this article discusses the findings from a February pulse survey of over 200 companies about how companies are reviewing their policies (e.g. travel bans, mandatory quarantine periods when returning from high risk areas, work from home advisories), and their compensation implications. Fewer companies expect moderate or large negative impact over the long term, and most are adopting a wait and see approach with respect to goal setting and compensation plans.
How to Be Useful During a Pandemic
People admittedly are confused about how to proceed with their daily lives at a time when so many people are concerned for the health of themselves and their loved ones, when lives are being disrupted, and many businesses are being shuttered, or are sputtering.
Some people are wondering what to do, whether to proceed with business at a time when so many don’t want to conduct business. Others are wondering what’s the point, as so many people still appear not to be following social distancing protocols, further putting themselves and society at danger, and further delaying recovery.
My advice? Ask how you can help.
From a business perspective, that means reaching out to partners and prospects to ask how they are doing, what they are dealing with, and how can you and your company can be of assistance.
Some of those folks may have the green light to do business, and will welcome the idea of talking products, prices, and other deal-related details. Others may ask for time to deal with their internal situations, or until they get an all-clear from their leadership and board. Some may be confused; your job for them is to be there, and listen.
It’s important to understand everyone is going to have different feelings and opinions, so be available to help everyone wherever they may be along the spectrum of reactions to what’s happening.
When it comes to employees, companies need to reach out to see how people are feeling, as emotions, fears, and misinformation could result in bad decisions being made. Businesses also must weigh the balances of having employees work from home, with how much technology they are going to deploy to keep tabs on their workers.
Questions of personal liberty, privacy, and human rights are going to become more prevalent both during this time of combating COVID-19, and in the way we live after this pandemic subsides.
From an employee perspective, it’s about staying connected to colleagues, clients, and vendors, while trying to adjust to working from home, while possibly also home-schooling children, or caring for elderly relatives.
It’s about staying informed, and sharing legitimate information with friends and coworkers. Its about being human, being vulnerable, asking for help if you need it, and offering to help those that seem to be struggling.
From a community perspective, it means giving back, as companies and as individuals. See if elderly people around you need food, or something else from the store. Maybe organize your coworkers to run errands for people at elderly care facilities, or offer assistance to organizations such as Meals on Wheels.
It means supporting small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat, tipping well to people providing delivery and other services. It can be as simple as raising money within the company to order a couple dozen pizzas to send to local hospitals, with a note of thanks and gratitude for their service, or donating masks and other needed supplies. Local food banks and blood banks are in need, and don’t forget the usual charities that still require support.
Moral leadership means doing the next right thing, and right now that requires people to help each other get through this unprecedented and uncertain situation, to be there for each other as we work to adjust our lives to these new realities.
FROM THE LRN BLOG
Working from home creates new issues for companies in cybersecurity, and within their networks. Our latest blog post offers tips for how to cope.
A special edition podcast from LRN’s Chief Executive Officer David Greenberg sharing a perspective on the pandemic, having served as Board Member, CEO and CECO.
With so many employees working from home, employers may be tempted to use technology to keep track of how much everyone is working. Should they? Adam Janofsky examines the question in Protocol.
LRN’s Yoab Bitran writes on the Compliance and Ethics blog about how multinationals can help Latin American companies on their E&C journeys.
Boards are planning for long-term repercussions from COVID-19, WSJ reports.
Crisis management expert Davia Temin shares eight best practices in a pandemic.
Opportunists will take advantage of pandemic uncertainty to engage in corruption, Jodi Vittori writes for the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.
COVID-19 is putting business continuity plans to the test, CIO reports.
KPMG shares tips on how to manage supply chain disruptions.
Remote work has become almost synonymous with working from home, or WFH, in the past few weeks as offices around the globe are adapting to life in the time of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Several members of SIOP, and several of the businesses that sponsor SIOP events, have been studying remote work, virtual teams, and related issues for years.
SIOP Feature: Teaming in the Age of COVID-19
Video: Leading Virtual Meetings
White Paper: Improving Communication in Virtual Teams
White Paper: Telecommuting
Member-Supplied Resource: Effective Virtual Management Skills for Covid-19 Teleworking
Employee Motivation and Engagement
White Paper: Getting Engaged: Top Tips for an Engaged Workforce
White Paper: Work-Life Balance
SIOP Feature: Finding Balance: Evidence-Based Strategies for Employers
Member-Supplied Resource: 4 key strategies to help supervisors support employee well-being during COVID-19
Join SHRM today to gain insight on how the continually evolving COVID-19 crisis is shaking businesses. As your partner in all things work, SHRM is coming together with leading experts to bring you critical updates, and the guidance needed to understand and implement your learnings.
SHRM/CDC Update on COVID-19: Understanding What Has Happened and What Is Ahead
Thursday, April 9 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
Or Thursday, April 9 | 5 p.m.-6 p.m. ET
Jay C. Butler, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM
Alex Alonso, SHRM
Amber Clayton, SHRM
Get the latest insight on the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on employers and workers. Jay Butler, MD, deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will provide government updates and advice on what to expect in the coming weeks.
Hear from SHRM as President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., provides an update on steps SHRM and the HR community are taking during this crisis to keep workers safe, and Alex Alonso and Amber Clayton discuss new and developing compliance implications.
Summary: Organizations are increasingly turning to telecommuting as a means of enhancing employees’ work experiences, as well as their bottom lines. Some 43% of employees in the United States work remotely at least part of each week, although their specific arrangements vary considerably across and within organizations. Previous research on this topic has largely ignored these variations, providing only limited guidance for program designers and managers. This CAHRS research brief, in contrast, documents differences in three common facets of telecommuting and then examines their individual and collective effects on important employee experiences and outcomes.