HR Resources for COVID-19

March 23, 2020

Last updated November 16, 2021

As we continue to adjust to a “new normal”,  we would like to remind you of the resources available to help you and your organization. Most businesses have been transitioning to increased remote work, and have moved events and learning 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 disruption, there are many effects of this highly uncertain and stressful period which are undoubtedly 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.

Highlights of the Week

How the Great Resignation May Lead to the Great Revitalization
As a growing number of companies experience the exodus of critical talent, there is reason to suspect this trend will only add to global delays in logistics and longer waits to obtain basic goods and services. But while the short-term may feel like manager hell, business leaders should be optimistic about the positive long-term benefits from all this quitting.

Breaking Down the Federal Mandates: A Crowdsourced Q&A
Watch this on-demand meeting where we dive deep into OSHA’s just-released regulations on COVID-19 vaccinations for employers and host a crowdsourced Q&A with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Senior Counsel, HR & Employee Relations.

Growing Enterprise-Wide Talent Intelligence & Championing Women’s Advancement with Verizon’s SVP Global Talent
Verizon’s Samantha Hammock discussed her efforts to combat the mass exiting of talent by unleashing enhanced career experience for employees.

People, risk and capital: Lead out of the current crisis, not the last one
Future-seeking leaders combine defensive action with a strong offense, recognizing and embracing that they need to take different actions to lead out of the current crisis.

Finding Purpose During the Great Resignation
Americans are looking for something more meaningful out of work. Organizations that offer it to them could reap tremendous gains, says best-selling author Daniel Goleman.


Source: Center for Effective Organizations (updated October 21, 2021)

Source: i4cp (updated November 16, 2021)

Source: Harvard Business Review (updated November 2, 2021)

Source: Institute for the Future

Source: McKinsey & Company (updated November 2, 2021)

Source: MIT Sloan (updated September 27, 2021)

Source: NeuroLeadership Institute

Source: Leapgen

Source: Wall Street Journal (updated November 10, 2021)

Source: MM&M, (Medical Marketing & Media)

Source: European Organisation Design Forum

Source: Willis Towers Watson (updated November 16, 2021)

Source: LRN Corporation (updated September 7, 2021)

Source: Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)
(updated October 5, 2021)

Source: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
(updated November 10, 2021)

Source: Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) 

Source: Korn Ferry (updated November 16, 2021)

Source: BigSpeak 

Source: Beyond HR Forum (updated November 10, 2021)

Source: MedPage Today

Source: Reuters

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business (updated October 5, 2021)

Source: Knowable Magazine

Source: Deloitte (updated October 18, 2021)

Source: HR Executive (updated October 26, 2021)

Source: The Atlantic

Source: Forbes (updated August 19, 2021)

Source: Visier (updated February 8, 2021)

Source: Center for Effective Organizations
(updated October 21, 2021)

Repricing work and consumption in the wake of Covid-19
By Alec Levenson – October 21, 2021

When Covid-19 gripped the global economy in the first half of 2020, there was an immediate shock to the economic system because the “price” of doing work in person was suddenly, and quite dramatically shifted. If the virus mitigation measures and vaccines rollouts over the past 19 months had put the world on a path to sustainable economic recovery heading into 2022, the negative economic impacts would be going away quickly right now. Yet they are not because we are faced with a prolonged period of the virus disrupting economic fundamentals. And the longer-term impacts on consumer and labor markets are only now starting to emerge.

A Long Time Still Until the New Normal
By Alec Levenson – October 20, 2021

Even before the Delta variant of Covid-19 swept across the globe, there already were clear signs that the economic disruptions that set in a year and a half ago were still going strong. Adding in Delta further increases uncertainty, pushing back any new equilibrium well into 2022 at the earliest, and likely well beyond.

For a deeper dive into the issues addressed here, come join the virtual Optimizing the Operating Model Beyond Covid-19 workshop in November 2021, featuring guest speakers Beth Gunderson, Stefan Garcon, Heather Stockton and Max Blumberg.

Figuring Out Social Capital Is Critical for the Future of Hybrid Work
By Jennifer J. Deal and Alec Levenson – July 1, 2021
The networks of employee relationships have been depleted during the pandemic, but companies can address this by focusing on three key areas in their return-to-work plans. 

Viewpoint: 10 Fact-Based HR Practices for Company Success
By Benjamin Schneider – June 21, 2021
As companies strive to return to a new normal, it is important to have an integrated approach that ensures the new normal is a positive one for all employees.

COVID’s Hidden Promise: Future Work Design Is Agile Innovation
By John W. Boudreau & Peter M. Ramstad – February 9, 2021

As organizations plan for a future where COVID-19 is no longer a health threat, leaders are setting the stage for what is sometimes called “return to work.”  Leaders are tempted to pronounce broad policies, that are often inconsistent from one organization to another.  They are tempted to solve the thorny issues presented by a workforce with increasingly diverse roles, needs and preferences by searching for policies that are “fair,” because they can be applied consistently to everyone.  These approaches lead to predictable “one-size-fits-all” dilemmas and problems.

Putting Fluid Work on a Solid Platform
By John W. Boudreau – October 20, 2020

My previous blog described how COVID has accelerated the melting of traditional jobs into more fluid work elements (such as tasks) and melting traditional job holders into more fluid worker capabilities (such as skills).

Fluid work can empower or exploit workers, and COVID and other disruptions have accelerated and starkly illuminated the difference.  Will fluid work evolve on a solid platform that offers empowerment rather than exploitation?  A solid platform for fluid work can preserve the options that the crises have created for organizations, society and workers.  Or, those options may be lost in a race to protect workers by reclassifying them into traditional jobs.  Important choices are being made now, often with little or very poor data and evidence.   Those choices are happening within the frameworks of social, regulatory and policy actions, accelerated by today’s disruptions.

Jobs are Melting into Fluid Work
By John W. Boudreau – September 29, 2020

The COVID crisis has revealed how remarkably workers apply “hidden” capabilities their organizations never used before, shifting quickly to their most pivotal contributions. What may be less obvious is how this has accelerated melting traditional jobs into fluid work.  The phrase “fluid work” captures how work has melted, released from the confines of a regular full-time job, just like water released from melted ice.  This reveals important patterns behind today’s celebrations: The crisis has shown that work and workers are more “fluid” and work won’t just refreeze into the old shape when the crisis abates.

Robots Don’t Get Sick
By John W. Boudreau – September 15, 2020

Should work automation replace people?  This is a debate as old as the dawn of technology, famously illustrated by the Luddites who opposed automated textile manufacturing machines.   As the COVID crisis accelerates work automation, crisis-driven imperatives may lead to short-term decisions, such as replacing humans with automation.  Costs may go down, risk may be reduced, and patients and customers may enjoy the novelty … in the short run.

People Management in Work Organizations: Fifty Years of Learnings
By Benjamin Schneider – August 19, 2020

Ben Schneider shares fifty years of lessons learned in people management.

Four Key Processes for Developing Advanced Change Capabilities in Agile Organizations
By Christopher G. Worley – July 2, 2020

Adapting to digitalization and to the COVID-19 pandemic has stoked interest in the design and operation of agile organizations. But what gets lost in the search for the right structure or the best work methods is how agile organizations change. Agile organizations are not just designed differently from traditional organizations; the way they change is different.

New Leadership Challenges for the Virtual World of Work
By Alec Levenson and Patrick McLaughlin – June 4, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis, senior leaders must rethink key decision-making processes in order to enhance trust, transparency, and teamwork.

The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly and dramatically upended the working world, creating unanticipated business and leadership challenges. Some organizations are pivoting hard to new delivery channels, new products, and new operating models without having enough time to manage the impact of these changes thoughtfully. As a result, many executives currently find themselves shooting from the hip, bereft of their usual channels to engage deeply with stakeholders and gain agreement on the path forward.

6 Barriers to Becoming Agile and How to Overcome Them
By Christopher G. Worley May 27, 2020

Research conducted by CEO’s Dr. Chris Worley at USC’s Marshall School of Business, in partnership with goetzpartners – a German advisory firm – and the NEOMA Business School in France, offers insights into the movement of companies’ agility levels. (A full version of the report can be found here). It extends CEO’s research on digitalization and organization design research suggesting that companies struggle to embed the routines of agility – strategizing, perceiving, testing, and implementing – within their organizations. Here, we discuss some of the management challenges to agile transformation and propose some ways of moving forward.

A Primer on Maintaining Employee Energy During COVID-19
By Theresa M. Welbourne April 22, 2020

Staying energized is a critical goal for anyone who is trying to optimize their productivity and get the most of every day. We are all more challenged today as we live through a pandemic; therefore, I wanted to go back to this article and review some energy basics so that as we build on this work with new research, readers will be a little more in tune with the energy story.

 A Long Time Until the Economic New Normal
By Alec Levenson April 10, 2020

A full economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely, and the new version of normal for work and organizations is further off than we think. We are in the middle of a historic rupture in the economic fabric of our society. The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a pervasive impact on the United States, and economic and financial market experts are hotly debating how quickly the economy will recover once we get “on the other side” of the contagion and the enormous pressures it has placed on our health care system. Although it is too early to estimate the exact economic impact, it is likely that full recovery of economic activity, including GDP growth, jobs, and unemployment, will take at least a year, and likely much longer.

Is Equality the Next New Thing? Why It May Matter More Today
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
By 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.

Fear and Coping: How Employee Resource Groups Can Help Manage COVID-19 Fears
By 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.


Source: i4cp
(updated November 16, 2021)

How the Great Resignation May Lead to the Great Revitalization
As a growing number of companies experience the exodus of critical talent, there is reason to suspect this trend will only add to global delays in logistics and longer waits to obtain basic goods and services. But while the short-term may feel like manager hell, business leaders should be optimistic about the positive long-term benefits from all this quitting.

Breaking Down the Federal Mandates: A Crowdsourced Q&A
Watch this on-demand meeting where we dive deep into OSHA’s just-released regulations on COVID-19 vaccinations for employers and host a crowdsourced Q&A with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Senior Counsel, HR & Employee Relations.

Growing Enterprise-Wide Talent Intelligence & Championing Women’s Advancement with Verizon’s SVP Global Talent
Verizon’s Samantha Hammock discussed her efforts to combat the mass exiting of talent by unleashing enhanced career experience for employees.

U.S. Federal Vaccine Mandates: What You Need to Know
On September 9, President Biden announced that he was tackling COVID-19 by directing the U.S. Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to enforce that their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week.  Since that time, U.S. businesses have been waiting on OSHA to provide guidance and deadlines, and today—almost 2 months later—companies now know some of the important parameters of the initial edict.

Breaking Down the Federal Mandates: A Crowdsourced Q&A
Jackie Len, Sr Counsel, HR & Employee Relations at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, joins i4cp this Tuesday for our latest Getting Hybrid Work Right meeting. We will dive deep into OSHA’s just-released regulations on COVID-19 vaccinations for employers and host a crowdsourced Q&A.

Championing Women’s Advancement with Verizon’s SVP Global Talent
On Thursday 11/11 at 11am ET (8am PT), Verizon’s Samantha Hammock will discuss her efforts to combat the mass exiting of women from the workforce.

Getting Hybrid Work Right – Tues, Nov 9
How Do You Get Hybrid Work Right?
RSVP for the bi-weekly series where we discuss vaccine mandates, hybrid work, next practices, and more.

CHRO Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Nov 11
Championing Women’s Advancement with Verizon’s SVP Global Talent
In 2020, 5.4 million women exited the workforce. Verizon’s Samantha Hammock discusses efforts to combat this crisis and create a future of work that works for all women.

Employee Vaccine Mandates: A Legal Q&A
In this highly popular on-demand webinar from our Getting Hybrid Work Right series, we walk through various legal implications of vaccination mandates and work policies.

Partner Event – Wed, Oct 20
The Untapped Talent Pool: Best Buddies Talent Fair

Join guest speakers from Accenture, Slack, JLL, and Compass Group as they reveal the candidates that other employers are missing out on.

DE&I Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Oct 21
The Global Business Case for Inclusion with Yum! Brands CDO

James Fripp will discuss YUM! Brands’ journey to increase diverse representation among company leadership, franchisees & suppliers and continue the rollout of inclusive leadership & anti-racism training.

Getting Hybrid Work Right – Tues, Oct 26
How Do You Get Hybrid Work Right?

Attend this highly popular open meeting to discuss how to execute a successful hybrid work model.

Talent & Learning Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Oct 28
Talent in the Virtual World with Mastercard’s Chief Learning & Insights Officer
Sarah Gretczko, Senior Vice President and Chief Learning & Insights Officer at Mastercard, will share best practices on learning virtually and hiring a L&D team that is prepared for the future of work.

Who will pay for testing the unvaccinated? New i4cp research shows some employers (11%) have implemented policies where employees will have to pay for testing themselves. Another 31% are considering this move.

How do you maintain operations in a tight labor market? Fears over losing employees given a looming talent exodus could subside slightly. Either way, our research shows there is plenty of opportunity to look within and focus on workforce readiness.

How do you get hybrid work right? While physical safety concerns will persist, there are other strategic issues at play that need to be ironed out to maximize innovation, collaboration, and more. We’ve produced a collection of hybrid work and flexible work guides for HR, HRBPs, and managersalong with other resourcesto help.

Some Employers are Making Workers Pay for Refusing Vaccinations
What organizations are doing about those employees who refuse vaccinations (and don’t qualify for exemptions) is a burning issue for many.

CHRO Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Oct 14
Building an Awesome Employer Brand to Battle the Talent Exodus
Lisa Buckingham, the former Chief People Officer at Lincoln Financial Group who has been recognized as HR Executive of the Year and Forbes Top 10 CHROs, will share her insights on talent sharing, employer brand, and HR capability.

Only 30% of Cos. Say Their Employees Have Needed Skills, but Few Understand Workforce Capabilities Today
Another finding: 27% of executives surveyed believe LinkedIn knows more about their workforces than their organizations do.

Employers are Bracing for Vaccine Mandate Backlash
Almost four in 10 business leaders (38%) expect their organizations to lose employees as a result of implementing the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Reinventing the Watercooler Effect: How Virtual Cross-Company Encounters Can Increase Innovation in a Hybrid World
The change to virtual has hindered the number of spontaneous face-to-face interactions at the workplace.

An Interview with i4cp’s Head of HR Executive Search 
During times of disruption—and we’ve all seen plenty of that since 2020—companies need capable human capital leaders in all organizational talent functions.

Getting Hybrid Work Right – Tues, Sept 28
Hybrid Work with Getty Images’ Chief People Officer

Lizanne Vaughan joins i4cp for an ongoing discussion of flexible work models.

Talent Acquisition Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Oct 7
Acquiring Diverse Talent at Wells Fargo
Carly Sanchez, Head of Global TA Strategy & Delivery, and Joanna Clark, TA Leader for India & Philippines and Global Delivery, share how they create an inclusive environment that attracts new hires and allows Wells Fargo team members to thrive across the entire employment experience.

The Trouble with Asking Employees to Wear Vaccination Flair
As vaccine demand increases to return to the workplace, should you require employees to show proof?

From Cube to Cloud™: The Next Era of Work 
Many organizations have embraced the findings from this major i4cp research study; read a summary of the findings here.

Next Meeting – Tues, Sept 14
Getting Hybrid Work Right Meeting Series
Participate in open discussion with your peers to make headway on this challenging topic.

Running Hybrid Meetings: Considerations and Best Practices
Ever run a meeting where half of the attendees are in a room and the rest are on the phone? Yeah, it’s not fun.

Over 50% of Companies Are Now Considering Employee Vaccine Mandates 
The latest i4cp research also shows that 73% of companies have or are considering changing their return to office plans.

Apply the Business Lessons of 2020 to Deal with the Delta Variant
The number one concern among employers is the stress that the Delta variant heaps on the health and well-being of their workforces. Here’s how to respond.

Chart: Return to Office Planning Changes Due to the Delta Variant
21% are sticking to their policies. The rest… not so much.

Let Managers Manage Flexible Work, But… 
Preparation and ongoing support for managers are needed to successfully orchestrate flexible work arrangements.

 Cyber Threats in the Age of Hybrid Work: What HR Leaders Should Do Now
As cyber-attacks become a more consistent threat, HR can take these steps to protect their organizations.

Talent & Learning Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Aug 26
Creating a Skills Inventory with Merck’s Chief Learning Officer
Johann Laville will discuss how he handles issues that inevitably arise, such as employees exaggerating (or under-selling) their expertise.

Getting Hybrid Work Right – Tues, Aug 31
Vaccine Mandates Continued

Join i4cp as we discuss how organizations are navigating the complexities of vaccine mandates.

Talent Acquisition Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Sept 2
The Candidate Experience with Ecolab’s VP Global Talent Acquisition

Cina Harbinson leads a conversation on her journey to enhance the candidate experience and create an internal talent marketplace.

A Who’s Who of Flexible and Hybrid Work Arrangements
This infographic provides a snapshot of flexible work policies, announced by major companies. 

Three Actions to Take Now to Counteract the Looming Talent Exodus
Gain a better understanding of your culture and employer brand.

Recruiting in the Ring: The Fight for Workers is On 
See the latest research on employer brand in the face of fierce competition.

Getting Hybrid Work Right – Tues, Aug 17
Optimizing Return to Office Strategies with ONA
Join i4cp and Rob Cross for a conversation on the use of organizational network analysis (ONA) to answer critical questions for hybrid work planning.

DE&I Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Aug 19
Making Data-Informed Decisions with Flex’s Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity
Latonia Knox will discuss using data to guide your decision-making when it comes to DE&I strategy, as well as Flex’s newly implemented hybrid work model.

Employers Worldwide Offering Vaccination Incentives
Gain insight into the progress companies are making in their employee vaccination efforts.

How Disney Disrupted Its Industry by Disrupting Itself
Only 7% of companies view disruption as part of their business model; here’s how Disney is disrupting itself.

Talent Acquisition Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Aug 5
Hybrid’s Impact on Talent Acquisition
Join us as we analyze the short and long-term impacts that hybrid work will have on Talent Acquisition.

CHRO Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Aug 12
Driving Innovation with PwC’s Chief People Officer
Mike Fenlon will discuss how he is applying human centered design to transform and drive innovation at scale at PwC.

Getting Hybrid Work Right: New Work Models Recording
CEO Kevin Oakes shared key research findings from i4cp’s global study From Cube to Cloud™: The Next Era of Work and led an open discussion on work models for the future.

Getting Hybrid Work Right – Tues, Aug 3
Getting Hybrid Work Right
Our latest call series is an ongoing discussion of hybrid and flexible work models.

Talent Acquisition Next Practices Monthly – Thurs, Aug 5
Hybrid’s Impact on Talent Acquisition
Join us as we analyze the short and long-term impacts that hybrid work will have on Talent Acquisition.

From Cube to Cloud: The Next Era of Work 
i4cp’s newest research study analyzes how to manage returning to the office (hint: don’t force it).

The Five Greatest Capability Gaps for HRBPs
We’ve conducted hundreds of HRBP Development Assessments; here’s what the data shows.

Despite Vaccinations, No Rebound for Business Travel
Despite widespread COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. and other countries, business travel—both domestic and global—won’t see a resurgence anytime soon.

Research Confirms It: Your Employees Are Fried 
The #1 reason employers will lose talent in the aftermath of the pandemic: burnout.

Financial Times: Office, Home, or Hybrid? Businesses Must Embrace the Evolution of Work
Our chief research officer addresses the questions to consider as businesses face a new era of work.

Employer Perspectives on Vaccinations Continue to Evolve 
More than 50% are now offering PTO for vaccinations.

What is Organizational Network Analysis? And How Does It Benefit Companies?
Conducting an ONA can help amplify collaboration and innovation—and reduce top talent burnout and turnover.

Chart: Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Policies
A third of organizations have decided not to set a policy.

Equity, Transparency, and Leadership Engagement Are Keys to Retaining Women 
Learn some of the keys to making sure you do not lose your women workers.

Two-Thirds of U.S. Business Offices Anticipate Reopening by Fall
Vaccination rates in the U.S. are driving employer confidence.

Return to the Workplace Timelines
Globally, many organizations are still in “wait and see” mode. In the U.S., a clear pattern is starting to emerge.

Why Companies Should Care About Purpose
A sense of revenue-transcending purpose lies not just in the company’s stated mission, research shows.

Some Employers Taking Steps to Address the Pandemic’s Disparate Impact on Women
See the results from i4cp’s recent survey.

The Biggest COVID-19 Vaccination Challenges Organizations Face Today
Read our latest findings on vaccinating the workforce.

The Hiring Chain and the Inclusive Workforce 
In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day.

February Employer Insights: Most Encourage Employee Vaccinations, Some Offer Incentives

Should Your Code of Conduct Tackle Political Extremism?

An Employee Listening Strategy is Critical to High Performance – Now More Than Ever

Talent Acquisition…Job Acquisition: The Other Side of the Table 

Marshall Goldsmith: Mastering Environmental Triggers Part 2 Members Only

Culture Renovation Blueprint Action #1: Develop and Deploy a Comprehensive Listening Strategy 

Culture Renovation Spotlight: Workday  

Culture Fail of the Month: GoDaddy 

How Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Is Driving Culture Renovation

Take a Moment. You Will Arrive Shortly… 
Includes breathing exercise script, provided by Genentech’s Nancy Stern

Companies Must Prepare to Share Much More Non-Financial Data 
Financial Times

The Secret to Building Resilience 
Harvard Business Review

Marshall Goldsmith: Mastering Environmental Triggers Part 1 
i4cp Members Only

2021 Talent Priorities with Marsh’s Joe Garbus
Learn about the challenges, opportunities, and areas to focus for talent and learning leaders in 2021, with the Chief Talent and Inclusion Officer at the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser.

Return to the Workplace Checklist – Updated with Vaccination Considerations

Linking COVID-19 Vaccinations to Workforce Well-Being Offers Advantages 

What the Pandemic Revealed about Employee Well-being: An Interview with Author and i4cp Thought Leader Jeffrey Pfeffer 

Four Priorities for Chief Diversity Officers in 2021

Research: As COVID-19 Vaccines Roll Out, Business Leaders Aren’t Rushing to Require Them 

Getting Personal About the COVID-19 Vaccination: How Leaders Make a Difference 

Nomads Working from Anywhere: The Legal Challenges Ahead

Workforce Readiness: The Learning Metric that Leads to Real ROI

 Power to the People: How You Can Empower Your Employees to Manage Micro-stressors

 New and featured resources

Employers Are Bracing for Election Day Fallout

Rosie Could Rivet Because She Had Affordable Childcare

Zoom Culture: Few Employers Have Policies About Your Political T-Shirt

On-Demand Webinars

Maintaining a Thriving Culture at Workday with Chief People Officer Ashley Goldsmith

 L&D’s Role at BMS – Race Relations, a Pandemic, and Acquisitions

Considerations and Best Practices for Running Hybrid Meetings
With more employees returning to the workplace, the dreaded “half at home, half in the office” conference call has reared its ugly head.

The Value of Soft Skills
How do you create, demonstrate, and leverage the value of investments your organization makes in soft skills?

Employers Are Turning to “Extreme Flexing” to Support Working Parents
The school year is here. How is your organization supporting working parents?

EMEA COVID Action: Returning to the European Workplace
Special Meeting Next Thursday, Sep. 3, 3pm GMT
Laura Nogueria de Diego, global head of TA, Talent and Performance at global, Basel-based agriculture company Syngenta, joins to discuss their efforts to return to “normal” as the pandemic begins to flare up in Europe and elsewhere.

The just-released results of the Institute for Corporate Productivity’s (i4cp) latest pulse survey—Workforce Policies in Times of Crises—confirm it: We’re working in COVID-19 limbo.

The survey asked, What is your organization’s current policy on employees continuing to work remotely versus returning to the office? A third of respondents (the greatest single group) said things are indefinite at present, that their organizations are in a holding pattern and hadn’t announced a specific date. In other words—limbo.

Workforce well-being, the employee experience, and organizational culture are being tested in a very big way. In fact, according to research conducted by i4cp over the past few months, significant changes to all three are looming:

  • In a poll of more than 100 senior-ranking HR leaders who took part in the May 1, 2020 i4cp CHRO COVID-19 Action Series call, “workforce well-being” received the most votes (58%) to the following question: Over the next year, which of the following do you believe will be altered the most at your organization as a result of this crisis?  The second most popular (Talent Acquisition) received only 16% of the votes.

Survey Results: Supporting Working Parents
As children prepare to go back to school (in one form or another), tough decisions loom for employees and organizations.

Dealing with Racist Content Posted by Employees on Social Media
New research shows what companies are doing about employees who post offensive or racist content on social media.

The Continuing Spread of COVID-19 is Keeping Most Employers in a Holding Pattern
Over half of organizations have or are rethinking their return to the workplace approach.

A New Normal for Pay
Return-to-normal is a popular topic these days, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that all was well six months ago.

The Continuing Spread of COVID-19 is Keeping Most Employers in a Holding Pattern
Over half of organizations have or are rethinking their return to the workplace approach.

A New Normal for Pay
Return-to-normal is a popular topic these days, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that all was well six months ago.

Workforce Policies in Times of Crises
New i4cp survey data shows shifting return to workplace plans, how companies handle racist social media posts, and more.

The Role of Succession Management in Uncertain, Tumultuous Times
In early 2020, the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) collected data from over 1,500 HR executives at organizations employing at least 1,000 people on their approach to succession planning and management.

In June 2020, i4cp captured additional follow-up data from a select group of those original survey respondents to determine whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest that followed the death of George Floyd would impact their approaches. The results are illuminating as to where organizations stand today and what succession will look like going forward.

It is likely that in March of this year, few organizations would have cited succession as an immediate priority (including most of those that had previously set it as a priority for 2020.)

But what about now, four months later?

 New Research & Other Highlights

How the Pandemic is Changing the Talent Landscape
Kate Jackson, VP of i4cp Executive Search, discusses the challenges and opportunities facing organizations looking to find and attract top talent.

Mixed Emotions About Mandatory PTO
In theory, mandatory time off promotes better work/life balance. But in many companies, it’s being met with mixed reactions

HBR Article: Don’t Let Micro-Stresses Burn You Out
We all have days when we go home exhausted, fall into bed, turn off the light, and drift into a fitful sleep. For some of us, that happens almost every day.

5 Ideas from the D&I Action Call with Choice Hotels’ Corinne Abramson
ERGs, support strategies, flexibility, compassion and more were highlighted in last week’s call. Read the recap, watch the recording.

Three Actions to Consider from the TA Action Call with Toyota’s Sherry McCaskill
Diversity-targeted recruiting events, internship challenges, and more were discussed in last week’s call. Read the recap, watch the recording.

The following resources are being collected and curated by i4cp’s research team to employees, managers, and leaders adjusting to remote work / working from home and virtual leadership responsibilities.

The New (Not So) Normal
The coronavirus pandemic, and resulting global economic crisis, have produced more questions than answers.

A Positive Product of the Pandemic: Culture
That may be one of the ultimate silver linings of the COVID-19 crisis: true leaders have stepped up, and companies have exhibited a level of empathy the workforce has never seen before.

How the Pandemic Whirlwind is Changing Employee Experience
The pressures and ambiguity created by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected everything about what it means to be an employee of an organization.

 The Business Benefits of Investing in Employee Well-Being
This infographic outlines how high-performance organizations benefit from the six elements of a holistic well-being approach.

Looking Ahead: The Pandemic and the Future of Work: Part I
i4cp Futurist Jay Jamrog on what he’s watching now and the skills leaders need to look ahead.

Other Featured Resources

i4cp’s Return to the Workplace Checklist
As you prepare your plans, take a look at i4cp’s checklist and other related resources to ensure you don’t miss a step.

Next Practices in Holistic Well-Being
Download the new complimentary study that thousands of organizations are reading right now.

5 Ways Companies Are Responding to Escalated Racial Tensions & Social Unrest
A recap from last Tuesday’s call involving nearly 450 executives.

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacting incredible costs on business continuity, productivity, and organizational survival. Moreover, it is taking monumental tolls worldwide on community health as well as the physical, mental, financial, social, and career well-being of individuals.

This infographic highlights data from i4cp’s Next Practices in Holistic Well-Being: The Performance Advantage report and outlines the ways Holistic Well-Being has become a hallmark of high-performance.

Read our featured content

Other popular content

Get i4cp’s Next Practices in Holistic Well-Being study
High-performance organizations are 7x more likely to report increased levels of innovation and creativity by taking a well-being approach that looks far beyond physical health. Our new study, conducted in partnership with Rob Cross, is now available to download.

i4cp members: join our new Employee Well-Being Exchange.

Featured content

Check out the Latest Corporate Practices
Twitter employees can work from home “forever.” What other recent or unique practices have been announced? Visit our COVID-19 Next Practices database.

View i4cp’s Return to the Workplace Checklist
Review dozens of helpful ideas and reminders of key factors to consider as your organization moves toward re-opening and re-staffing its facilities and workplaces.

Watch our Accelerating Virtual Team Agility & Effectiveness Webinar
Watch this on-demand webinar that goes beyond “virtual meeting” basics and looks at ways to visualize, analyze, and rethink how your virtual teams work and collaboration.

Prepare for Next Practices in Holistic Well-Being

High-performance organizations are 7x more likely to report increased levels of innovation and creativity by taking a well-being approach that looks far beyond physical health. This Tuesday, we’ll debut the results of our major research study on this topic that couldn’t be more critical.

Can’t wait? Watch this on-demand webinar to get a sneak peek.

Participate in our Employee Experience Study
Be the first to see the results of our new major study that explores how organizations define, design, operationalize, and scale the moments, attitudes, and behaviors that shape an exceptional employee experience.

Check out the Latest Corporate Practices
Facebook, Microsoft, Zillow, and others have extended their work from home policies. Those are just a few of the latest practices added to our COVID-19 Next Practices database.

New Research & Articles
Thanks to the thousands of organizations who are contributing to our ongoing research. Here’s what we published last week:

Holistic Well-Being & Virtual Team Effectiveness
Participate in two of our ongoing series of resources and opportunities to explore critical issues facing organizations:

What Next Practices Have Companies Put into Effect?
Explore our database of leading practices in our Coronavirus Next Practice database, including examples from HPE, IBm, Kroger, and more.

60+ (and Growing) Next Practices
Aramark has created an app to redeploy hourly employees, while Ally expands its benefits, Amway continues with pay increases. See other leading practices in our Coronavirus Next Practice database.

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.

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Source: Harvard Business Review
(updated November 2, 2021)

Harvard Business Review: How to Succeed Quickly in a New Role
Why don’t more companies focus on network-building for new employees, role transitions, and especially new leaders? Read this month’s cover story by i4cp research advisers Rob Cross & Greg Pryor, and i4cp member David Sylvester, for a deep dive on how this can be achieved.

What to Do About “Back to the Office” Jitters
As more and more companies bring their people back to the office, managers face the challenge of ensuring that their employees feel safe and comfortable. Although all workers have experienced the Covid-19 pandemic, they haven’t all experienced it in the same way. Employees have been going through a wide range of anxiety and suffering, leading to a variety of attitudes toward the pandemic and differences in the precautions people are willing to take to protect themselves and others. What can managers and employees do to manage the transition?

Harvard Business Review: Let Your Top Performers Move Around the Company
Hoarding top talent is a common managerial disease. i4cp CEO Kevin Oakes shares how high-performance organizations, who embrace talent mobility, experience better results, relationships, and retention.

How to Have Tough Conversations About Returning to the Office
Are you dreading the conversations with your team about returning to the office? Or maybe you’re already back and need to tell one of your direct reports that your agreed-upon approach isn’t working. Fostering a safe and constructive dialogue about re-entry can be challenging. Ironically, some of the mistakes you might make will stem from your desire to be a kind and caring manager. Here are some of the pitfalls to watch out for during these conversations along with strategies to help you feel more confident about how to approach them.

How to Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely
Now, as organizations look at returning to the office in some capacity during the months ahead, there is an opportunity to re-onboard employees who started remotely. Doing so will help create a continued positive employee experience and help further socialize them into the organization’s culture, given that this group of employees will likely not have met their fellow team members in person, nor likely have ever been to the organization’s physical offices.

How DHL Express Navigated the Pause — and Rebound — of Global Trade
The stunning turnaround of international trade during the Covid-19 pandemic and the logistics operations behind it suggest three key lessons in resilience that run counter to conventional thinking. First, beware of binary thinking, especially about globalization. Just as expectations about new technologies erasing the effects of borders and distance have repeatedly been overblown, globalization’s setbacks are also frequently exaggerated. Second, your people are the differentiator when a shock renders plans obsolete. Companies should treat investments in workforce skills and culture as key pillars of corporate resilience. And finally, size and direct control of assets can make a company nimbler. Despite the typical narrative that scale and asset-intensity are associated with inertia, size and reach were clear advantages for DHL and other global enterprises during the pandemic.

The Secret to Building Resilience 
The ability to bounce back from setbacks is often described as the difference between successful and unsuccessful people. Resilience has been shown to positively influence work satisfaction and engagement, as well as overall well-being, and can lower depression levels. But resilience isn’t just a kind of solitary internal “grit” that allows us to bounce back. New research shows that resilience is also heavily enabled by strong relationships and networks. We can nurture and build our resilience through a wide variety of interactions with people in our personal and professional lives. These interactions can help us to alter the magnitude of the challenge we’re facing. They can help crystalize the meaningful purpose in what we are doing or help us see a path forward to overcome a setback — these are the kinds of interactions that motivate us to persist. Are your relationships broad and deep enough to help support you when you hit setbacks? Here’s an exercise to help you think that through.

Creating a Post-Covid Business Plan
Right now, every company in the world is facing the same question: What’s going to happen when the pandemic is over? Grocery stores and consumer packaged goods manufacturers have experienced an unexpected boost in sales: Will that growth sustain? Hotels and airlines have experienced unprecedented drops in demand: Will their business ever come back? Movie studios, video game producers, and theaters need to envision how the pandemic will permanently affect entertainment habits. When the pandemic is over, many companies will find that their business model has been disrupted in fundamental ways.

What One Health System Learned About Providing Digital Services in the Pandemic
During the Covid-19 pandemic the importance of technology in our health care system’s capacity to care for people has been essential. The benefits are indisputable, the advancements vast, and the connection to scientific knowledge continually growing.

What It Takes to Lead Through an Era of Exponential Change
To say that 2020 is a year of disruption and change is to understate the obvious. Our daily lives, from educating our kids, managing our health, and working from home, to simple social rituals like dinner with friends, underwent rapid multi-dimensional change. Nascent trends — virtualization of the workspace, online learning, virtual health, and e-commerce — accelerated exponentially. Changes anticipated to take years occurred in months and, in some cases, weeks and even days. Understandably, leaders have struggled mightily to address these overlapping changes simultaneously, dealing with economic, health, and logistical crises that have unfolded at top speed.

Give Your Remote Team Unstructured Time for Collaboration
After more than six months of at least partial remote work for roughly a third of U.S. workers, managers have largely implemented the basic best practices for overseeing their remote workforces.

How Boards Can Plan for the Disasters That No One Wants to Think About
It’s tempting to call the Covid-19 pandemic a black swan — an event so unexpected and devastating that companies could not have prepared for it. But experts have been predicting global pandemics for years, and in January 2020, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report cited infectious diseases as a potential threat. Yet very few companies included a global pandemic in their highest risk categories.

How CHROs Have Met the Moment
In the past, at big company moments, it was often the CEO and CFO breaking the news to employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. A distinctive feature of the coronavirus pandemic has been to elevate the role of the CHRO, who is often visibly helping CEOs manage the present and lead their companies into the future.

How HR Leaders Can Adapt to Uncertain Times
Human Resource departments had a difficult job prior to the pandemic. In 2019, more than 50% of HR leaders struggled to ensure that employees had the skills necessary to navigate an increasingly digitized workplace. But, admittedly, this “future of work” had always seemed a safe distance ahead — far enough, at least, to thoughtfully prepare for.

A Financial Crisis Is Looming for Smaller Suppliers
High-profile bankruptcies, refinancing deals, and drastic cost-cutting involving the likes of Brooks Brothers, JCPenney, Hertz, Neiman Marcus, Ford, and GM are testament to the financial distress wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic. But a less visible crisis deep within supply chains is destabilizing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and could add to the woes of the global economy.

How to Brainstorm — Remotely
In the age of Covid-19, many of us are no longer working together in the same rooms — but we still need to generate ideas collaboratively. Fortunately, even in a remote environment there are several approaches that can help you solve complex problems effectively.

The Upside of Virtual Board Meetings
Like everyone else, members of corporate boards have had to innovate quickly due to Covid-19. A once-in-a-generation economic shock has put vital strategic decisions on the table without the luxury of in-person meetings. Boards have had to balance the unfamiliarity of going virtual with the pressures of protecting their organizations from catastrophe.

What Would It Take to Reskill Entire Industries?
 As the global health crisis begins to recede in some countries, the economic one is only just beginning. As of May 27, 2020, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 94% of the global workforce lives in countries with active workplace closure measures. Businesses across a range of sectors are facing catastrophic losses, resulting in millions of workers vulnerable to layoffs.

 What Should We Do with 45,000 Half-Empty Public Buildings?
 Could underutilized government offices, empty parking lots, or shuttered public schools help solve your community’s shortage of affordable housing or senior care facilities? Research suggests that it’s entirely possible. The U.S. government alone owns an estimated 45,000 underused or underutilized buildings, plus abundant surplus land. And, as a result of the current pandemic, organizations across the public and private sectors are now recognizing that many of us don’t really need to be in the office every day to get our work done. This underutilized space and property represents enormous untapped value which could be leveraged to finance investments in other areas.

 Rethinking Work Schedules? Consider These 4 Questions.
The coronavirus has changed the workplace in ways that will permanently transform the future of most organizations. Many leaders have been forced to craft new and improved strategies for successfully running an office remotely, building environments that help — not hurt – our immune systems, and developing guidelines to enforce safety measures like social distancing. Perhaps the most common change designed to address all of these areas is rethinking employee schedules, whether it is to support changes in work-life balance, to minimize social contact, or to meet wavering business demands. The traditional nine-to-five workday is no longer the gold standard.

How to Prepare Yourself for a Return to the Office
In the coming weeks, as quarantine restrictions loosen, companies around the world will begin bringing people back to the workplace. While some may be eager to finally get out of their house, a good number of people are still anxious. And if you’re among them, you aren’t alone. Seventy percent of over 1,000 workers surveyed by PwC said there are several factors preventing them from wanting to return to work, with 51% citing fear of getting sick as their major worry. For others, fear of using public transportation and having no reliable solutions for childcare or homeschooling are also concerns.

Research: 3 Biases That Shaped CEOs’ Pandemic Response
The Covid-19 pandemic has required leaders to make decisions under considerable pressure. Many CEOs have been acting as the “chief crisis officer” as they work to ensure their firm’s survival and to manage the physical, mental, and social well-being of their employees.

Why Investing in Procurement Makes Organizations More Resilient
For decades, we’ve placed efficiency at the center of strategy: We’ve run operations as close to full capacity as we can. We’ve ordered from suppliers in ways that are tightly aligned with our production schedules. We’ve worked hard to minimize costs, “sweating assets hard” under the guidance of the CFO, and we’ve delivered financial returns on a quarterly basis. In many ways, this is a system that has worked remarkably well. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has made painfully clear, it has a major flaw: It doesn’t help firms develop resilience.

How to Do Performance Reviews — Remotely
You may have conducted hundreds of performance reviews over the course of your career, but in the era of Covid-19 everything is different. You and your team have been working remotely for months now in an extremely difficult situation. How do you begin to evaluate your employees’ performance at such a challenging time? How much should you consider the impact of Covid-19 on your assessment? And how do you make sure you’re fair-minded given everyone’s different circumstances?

Adapt Your D&I Efforts to the Reality of the Crisis
Summary: As the effects of COVID-19 continue, many internal diversity initiatives have been cancelled or postponed – raising the question, is diversity work “essential”? This article explores how a broader understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion can serve as a powerful solution for both the economic and people crisis we now face. As leaders consider the diversity of their workforce, and consequently the differences in needs, they can more effectively address crisis communications, flexible work options, and employee wellness. By gathering more real time information, addressing specific challenges, and centralizing strategy yet decentralizing implementation, leaders can create a model that is flexible, cost efficient, and impactful.

The Pandemic Has Exposed the Fallacy of the “Ideal Worker”
With most of us working from home these days, Americans’ workday has increased by 40% – roughly 3 hours a day – the largest increase in the world.

Which Covid-19 Data Can You Trust?
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a tidal wave of data. As countries and cities struggle to grab hold of the scope and scale of the problem, tech corporations and data aggregators have stepped up, filling the gap with dashboards scoring social distancing based on location data from mobile phone apps and cell towers, contact-tracing apps using geolocation services and Bluetooth, and modeling efforts to predict epidemic burden and hospital needs. In the face of uncertainty, these data can provide comfort — tangible facts in the face of many unknowns.

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.

8 Questions Employers Should Ask About Coronavirus
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.


Source: Institute for the Future
(updated November 20, 2020)

After the Pandemic: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
This is a moment to think boldly about the future. If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we need to take preparedness to a new level. We need to think longer—not weeks, not months, but years longer.

After the Pandemic: Writing the Stories of the Future
How do we engage in the project of writing stories of a post-COVID-19 future?

With the support of Blue Shield of California Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation—IFTF wants to offer the public—communities, policymakers, civic and business organizations—a guide to creating new visions of the common future.

Think of this guide as a recipe with ingredients that you will need to imagine what is desirable, what you might want to avoid, and what you need to prepare for. What kinds of scenarios might it inspire?

Here’s a preview of the basic steps and some sketches of four alternative futures that the Institute for the Future will be using over the coming months to catalyze the insights of frontline workers, community voices, academic thought leaders, and policymakers.

 The Resilience-Building Power of Futures Thinking in Uncertain Times

“If anyone doubted that we are living in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, the events of the recent past have surely erased those doubts.“ Marina Gorbis, executive director of IFTF, wrote these words ten years ago about the economic downturn, but they could apply just as well to the events unfolding today. The novel coronavirus is a textbook example of the Butterfly Effect, which describes how tiny air currents from a butterfly’s wings can cause (or prevent) a hurricane halfway around the world. Who could have guessed that a single person becoming infected with a zoonotic virus in November could result in the crashing of global stock markets only a few months later, the shutting down of schools, restaurants and public gatherings in cities and countries, and causing supermarket panics worldwide?

While it’s impossible to predict the exact timing of global shocks like 9/11, the home mortgage meltdown, and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is within our power to build skills for resilience and to create plans, tools, and processes to effectively manage the next future shock that comes our way.

In this second special edition of IFTF’s News From The Future, we’re sharing two essential skills for tapping into the power of futures thinking in uncertain times.

Skill for Resilience 1: Find Opportunity in Turmoil through Socialstructing 

In her 2013 book The Nature of the Future, Marina introduced the concept of socialstructing—creating value by aggregating micro contributions by large networks of people using social tools and technologies. To put it simply, socialstructing is about groups of people doing remarkable things without money, traditional hierarchies, or management. Such “amplified Individuals” leverage the power of technologies and the collective intelligence of others in their network to do the kinds of things previously only large organizations or no other organization could do. In last week’s newsletter we linked to the socialstructed Coronavirus Tech Handbook, an open-sourced list of resources for citizen scientists, makers, and others interested in learning how to help. Since then, similar groups of amplified individuals have also started taking action to combat the pandemic. 

  • Signal: Can we move faster than a virus? That’s a question IFTF colleagues Eri Gentry and Tito Jankowski hope to answer with their recently launched COVID Accelerator, a resource for “motivated people who want to do something about this virus.” Gentry and Jankowski say that, in just a few days, the accelerator has grown to “250 people from around the world, including public health officials who are on the frontlines in South Korea and Sri Lanka, developers, designers, and other amazing folks.” The COVID Accelerator has already kicked off a number of projects, including an electronic cough tracker, a volunteer chores-service for medical personnel, and automated robots to perform COVID-19 testing. 

Skill for Resilience 2: Stretch Your Imagination 

In her new op-ed, IFTF’s Jane McGonigal writes about the need to stretch our thinking so we can prepare for hard-to-imagine futures. “We have to get better at accepting the reality of our future sooner,” she says. “The cost of waiting is too high. We have to quickly train our brains to get comfortable with uncomfortable possibilities. We have to help each other believe that the things we accept today as a given, as unchangeable, can rapidly become different.”

  • Signal: Right now residents of fire-ravaged Sonoma County, California are stretching their imagination and looking to the future challenges of an almost-certain wildfire season combined with a pandemic. From Yubanet: “At this time there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Nevada County, just as there is no large wildfire burning. Neither should keep you from preparing for both. It is not a question of if, but when a wildfire/cases of coronavirus will happen in our area. By preparing now, you and your family increase your chances of weathering any type of emergency.”

Start building your skills today—it is essential, if not urgent

It’s not easy to imagine the future, but now, more than ever—learning how to do it is essential to our very survival. You can start today by enrolling in our free IFTF Futures Thinking Specialization on Coursera.

It will help expand your imagination and improve your resiliency during these uncertain times! 

Online Collaboration—Tools and Practices You Can Use Today
Being there without being there
IFTF Online Collaboration Series, Episode 2
Featuring Bob Johansen
TOMORROW—March 19, 2020 at 9am PT

Join IFTF for episode 2 of the IFTF Online Collaboration Series, featuring IFTF Distinguished Fellow, Bob Johansen, hosted by Mark Frauenfelder, where they will discuss the roots of online collaborative platforms, including uses, misuses, and the lessons learned for today’s distributed world.

Bob will share insights from his studies over the years of a wide range of options for meetings at a distance. What can we learn about how to have great presence–even when we can’t be present physically?

The Coronavirus is the Future Shock of the Decade: Three Things You Need To Know

The far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are a stark reminder that global shocks will always be part of life. 

While shocks, by definition, are unpredictable, it doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for them. In fact, the purpose of futures thinking (like the kind we do at IFTF) is to develop practical tools, skills, and other capacities to anticipate, survive, and even benefit from disruptions of all kinds. The planetary shock of COVID-19 is a call-to-action for futures thinkers around the globe to get serious about the need to develop multifarious scenarios and flexible contingency plans.

In this special edition of IFTF’s Future Now, we’re going to look at the coronavirus from a futurist’s perspective by framing three key big questions and by sharing a curated set of links to videos, essays, and other resources from IFTF experts to help you start to formulate answers that make sense for you, your organization, and your community now.

What’s important to understand about what’s happening now?

  • This explainer video is an easy-to-understand 9-minute course on the fundamentals of epidemiology. Key takeaway: the number of recorded coronavirus cases outside mainland China is increasing by a factor of 10 every 16 days.
  • After watching the above video, you’ll understand the logic of Yascha Mounk’s article in The Atlantic, “Cancel Everything.” Key takeaway: “so far only one measure has been effective against the coronavirus: extreme social distancing.”
  • The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is an open-sourced list of resources for citizen-scientists, makers, and others interested in learning how to help. Key takeaway: crowd-sourced activity around responses to COVID-19 is immense, and is an important source of informative signals to consider.

What are the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Venture capitalist Azeem Azhar discusses six ways coronavirus will change our world. His list includes: open-sourcing formerly proprietary information about global threats, and a rise in online learning, working, and convening. Key takeaway: prepare for a shift from fragile global supply chains to “networked, decentralized and resilient” models.
  • “Governments around the world may see this health crisis as an opportunity to introduce or implement controversial technology and systems for surveillance,” according to this Access Now report. Key takeaway: the outbreak is an opportunity “to assess how we can protect public health in the digital age, and where our digital rights fit into the global humanitarian response.”
  • Building systems that are resilient to the global effects of pandemics could have far-reaching benefits. This 2010 paper published in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses lists eight social benefits gained from developing effective response mechanisms to pandemics. Key takeaway: there are many “potential collateral benefits from pandemic planning and preparations that can be realized regardless of a future pandemic occurring.” 

How can we better prepare ourselves for the next future shock?

  • Ending Pandemics is an organization dedicated to the early discovery of infectious disease outbreaks so they can be halted before they become pandemics. Key takeaway: “If we prioritize our efforts to find outbreaks faster in animals, it is possible to prevent human infection altogether.”
  • In a world of uncertainty, only one thing is certain: shocks, disruptions, and other unsettling events will occur, and they will be novel and surprising. IFTF executive director Marina Gorbis argues in her essay “The Future as a Way of Life,” that the only way to effectively deal with black swan events is through a “massively public endeavor” to envision and make the future. Key takeaway: “futures thinking is an essential 21st century skill: we need to cultivate it widely in everything we do.”
  • Now, more than ever, it’s time to unstick your mind. “To avoid being blindsided by the future, you must develop mental habits of actively challenging what you believe could or could not be different,” writes IFTF’s Jane McGonigal in her essay, “Counterfactual Thinking Is the Key to Creativity — and a Vaccine against Future Shock.” Key takeaway: “to invent something new, or make any kind of change in your society, you first have to be able to imagine how things can be different.”

This list of resources is far from exhaustive. Think of the links as provocations to unstick your thinking about how to respond to the next global future shock. Use them as starting points to engage in a massively public endeavor to envision and make the future by exchanging ideas with your friends, family members, colleagues, community members, and social media circle.

When we imagine the future, we can handle the future.

Online Collaboration—Tools and Practices You Can Use Today

YesterdayMark Frauenfelder hosted Episode 1 of IFTF’s “Online Collaboration” series. It featured IFTF Distinguished Fellow, Howard Rheingold discussing online learning, facilitation roles, and social communities.

Institute for the Future has been a pioneer in creating and analyzing the best tools and processes for online collaboration.  In this series, we will continue to invite experts from IFTF and our community to share perspectives on that will help you, your co-workers, and your families stay connected and productive during this period of required “social distancing.”

Learn more about the whole series and watch the archived video of yesterday’s conversation here:

Go Back to the Contents

Source: McKinsey & Company
(updated November 2, 2021)

McKinsey & Company stresses that this is a rapidly changing situation and will be updating their assessment as needed.

The coronavirus effect on global economic sentiment
Supply-chain disruptions now outweigh COVID-19 concerns as the biggest risks executives see to domestic and corporate growth.

COVID-19: Implications for business
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on, executives, particularly in developed economies, are feeling worse about the state of the economy and their own companies’ prospects. It’s natural that a challenge as unremitting as the pandemic should produce alternating hope and despair. This week, McKinsey examined the backslide in executives’ views, and a variety of similar issues that require problem-solving as dogged as the problems themselves.

COVID-19: Implications for business
While the COVID-19 pandemic was unspooling, many in various industries asked themselves, “How bad can it get?” Now that some recoveries are under way, leaders are increasingly wondering how good, how high, and how long the postcrisis bounce will be.

COVID-19: Implications for business
Case numbers are resurging in parts of the world where the COVID-19 pandemic was waning, falling in places that saw huge surges recently, and just beginning to rise in previously little-impacted parts of the globe. Trying to determine the end of a story while the plot is still twisting is difficult. But this week, McKinsey sought answers to the burning questions of how the pandemic can finally be vanquished and how vaccines can reach the world, as well as what companies can do to mitigate new geopolitical risks and cope with inflation and volatility.

What’s next for consumers, workers, and companies in the post-COVID-19 recovery
Many changes in business models and consumer behavior during the pandemic will stick, but action will be needed to ensure the rebound is not uneven.

Five insights about harnessing data and AI from leaders at the frontier
Four CEOs describe what goes into turning a world of data into a data-driven world.

Nextdoor’s CEO on supporting communities through COVID-19
The neighborhood app aims to create ‘strong weak ties’ during the crisis that help its neighbors persevere.

How Americans report feeling about COVID-19 vaccinations
In McKinsey’s most recent consumer survey, more than half the respondents in the United States report they are likely to delay or decline vaccination despite regulatory approval, with safety concerns being the main driver of vaccine hesitancy.

What’s behind physician burnout?
We surveyed US physicians about their concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. Up to 43 percent of respondents report some level of burnout with concerns about quality of care, telehealth, and finances.

What 800 executives envision for the postpandemic workforce
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to our working lives in the short term, and is likely to change the way that we work in the long term. To understand these changes, McKinsey commissioned a survey of business executives around the world in June 2020. The results suggest that the crisis may accelerate some workforce trends already underway, such as the adoption of automation and digitization, increased demand for contractors and gig workers, and more remote work. Those changes in turn will create greater demand for workers to fill jobs in areas like health and hygiene, cybersecurity, and data analytics.

The boss factor: Making the world a better place through workplace relationships
Today’s leaders have never been under so much pressure. Even as they navigate the evolving COVID-19 crisis—keeping their customers and employees safe and their businesses viable—expectations are sky-high. Shareholders are calling for foresight, bold strategies, agility, and resilience, while governments and communities increasingly expect businesses to support broader goals, such as sustainability and social justice.

What now? Decisive actions to emerge stronger in the next normal
As many business leaders return from a summer break that was far from normal, they may be asking themselves: What now? Over the past six months, they have reorganized supply chains, set up remote operations, and made tough financial decisions. But without a COVID-19 vaccine yet available, not much feels different, and the summer pause hasn’t done much to relieve fatigue.

Reimagining the postpandemic economic future
The scale of the economic challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic has not been faced in the United States in nearly a century. The pandemic has not only exposed weaknesses in US health systems but also, just as quickly, exposed economic vulnerabilities. The impacts across employment and productivity are at levels not seen since the Great Depression.

Igniting individual purpose in times of crisis
In these stressful, surreal times, it’s understandable for CEOs to fixate on urgent corporate priorities at the expense of more intangible, personal considerations. How important is getting your people to think about their “purpose in life” right now when you’re worried about their well-being—not to mention corporate survival?

The CEO moment: Leadership for a new era
COVID-19 has created a massive humanitarian challenge: millions ill and hundreds of thousands of lives lost; soaring unemployment rates in the world’s most robust economies; food banks stretched beyond capacity; governments straining to deliver critical services. The pandemic is also a challenge for businesses—and their CEOs—unlike any they have ever faced, forcing an abrupt dislocation of how employees work, how customers behave, how supply chains function, and even what ultimately constitutes business performance.

The Great Acceleration
The fault lines between industries and business models that we understood intellectually before the COVID-19 crisis have now become giant fissures, separating the old reality from the new one. Just as an earthquake produces a sudden release of pent-up force, the economic shock set off by the pandemic has accelerated and intensified trends that were already underway. The result is a dramatic widening of the gap between those at the top and the bottom of the power curve of economic profit —the winners and losers in the global corporate-performance race.

COVID-19 and the employee experience: How leaders can seize the moment
The return phase of the COVID-19 crisis is a good time for organizations to create more tailored responses to workplace challenges, expanding on the goodwill and camaraderie earned in earlier phases.

COVID-19: Implications for business
Governments worldwide have already allocated more than $13 trillion to stabilize economies in freefall and restart growth. These measures, written and delivered at speed, have succeeded in many ways. But as the crisis drags on, new questions are arising. Is the money directed in the best possible way? And is more needed?

Reimagining the office and work life after COVID-19

Organizations must reimagine their work and the role of offices in creating safe, productive, and enjoyable jobs and lives for employees.

Read the article

Explore all our coronavirus insights

McKinsey & Company stresses that this is a rapidly changing situation and will be updating their assessment as needed.

Coronavirus: Approaching the restart

Several recent articles provide a lens into what it will take to return to business.

From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

For many, the toughest leadership test is now looming: how to bring a business back in an environment where a vaccine has yet to be found and economies are still reeling.

Reimagining the post-pandemic organization

The organization of the future is taking shape in the moves that companies are making now. Here’s what’s changing—and why some companies say they won’t go back.

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

COVID-19 has created an imperative for companies to reconfigure their operations, and an opportunity to transform them.

The COVID-19 recovery will be digital: A plan for the first 90 days

The rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic will continue into the recovery. Here’s how to accelerate your organization’s digital capabilities to keep pace.

Rapid Revenue Recovery: A road map for post-COVID-19 growth

Speed, agility, and a new understanding of customer values are the keys to navigating the next normal.

A safer, smarter future: Working remotely in energy and materials

Many companies are not only seeking solutions to improve their performance in the short term—and increase their competitive edge in shrinking markets—but also to ensure long-term sustainability in the next normal through healthy transformation.

The Next Normal

In this new series, leading executives and McKinsey experts conjure the future, one industry at a time.

Revisiting agile teams after an abrupt shift to remote

Agile teams traditionally excel when their members are co-located. Here’s how to ensure they’re effective now that COVID-19 has forced them to work remotely.

In the tunnel: Executive expectations about the shape of the coronavirus crisis

In this McKinsey survey, more than 2,000 executives around the world share their views on the likely impact of efforts to control the virus and support economic recovery.

The future is not what it used to be: Thoughts on the shape of the next normal

The coronavirus crisis is a world-changing event. Here are seven elements for business leaders to consider as they plan for the next normal.

COVID-19 and jobs: Monitoring the US impact on people and places

The spread of coronavirus is leaving a wide swath of economic damage in its wake.

Beyond coronavirus: The path to the next normal

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.

Safeguarding our lives and our livelihoods: The imperative of our time

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.

Adapting workplace learning in the time of coronavirus

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

Coronavirus: Confronting the Crisis: How organizations can respond, and what happens next

Leadership in a crisis: Responding to the coronavirus outbreak and future challenges

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


Source: MIT Sloan
(updated September 27, 2021) 

Design Your Work Environment to Manage Unintended Tech Consequences
Collaborative technologies enable many benefits for organizations in a time of widespread remote work, but they also come with risks of isolation, exclusion, surveillance, and self-censorship.

Easing the Invisible Burdens of Collaboration
Collaboration is essential in today’s work world, but it can also consume more time and energy than well-intended leaders expect or recognize.

The New Strategic Road Map for Attracting and Retaining Working Parents
Working parents’ pandemic-era experiences highlight the significance of organizational location decisions for talent recruitment and retention.

Optimizing Return to Office Strategies with ONA
Using organizational network analysis to map employee work relationships and patterns helps companies answer critical questions for hybrid work planning.

Figuring Out Social Capital Is Critical for the Future of Hybrid Work
By Jennifer J. Deal and Alec Levenson – July 1, 2021
The networks of employee relationships have been depleted during the pandemic, but companies can address this by focusing on three key areas in their return-to-work plans.

Rob Cross and Kevin Oakes share how networks can be analyzed and leveraged to create inclusive cultures.

Are You Ready to Lead Work Without Jobs?
We’re moving toward a system of work design that will profoundly change the roles of organizational leaders.

Driving Remote Innovation Through Conflict and Collaboration
Leaders can support innovation across remote teams by encouraging open communication — including disagreement — among employees.

How Leading Companies Are Innovating Remotely
Even as their employees work remotely, some businesses are successfully innovating by taking specific steps to create customer value.

Virtual Collaboration Won’t Be the Death of Creativity
Shifting to remote work can help groups generate better ideas — and more of them.

Accelerating Supply Chain Scenario Planning
The pandemic showcases a need to make slow-moving supply chains nimbler. Using data and collaborating with partners on scenario planning can empower companies to adapt.

Four Principles to Ensure Hybrid Work Is Productive Work
Organizations have become more flexible about where and when employees work. Now they need to be more intentional about their choices and trade-offs.   Leaders and the teams they manage are experimenting with new ways of working — both in the short term during COVID-19 and longer term for a post-pandemic world. The axes of work are pivoting simultaneously in terms of both place and time, with leaders designing hybrid ways of collaborating that have few precedents. It’s tough and, not surprisingly, causing confusion. How much flexibility around where and when people do their jobs is best? What strategies are most effective?

 How Companies Are Winning on Culture During COVID-19
Employees give leadership high marks for communication and integrity in the first six months of the pandemic.

How Organizations Can Build Analytics Agility
Companies must increase their analytical fitness and develop strong muscle memory when they are tested by disruptive events.

Seize the Moment
By now, many of us have accepted what was unthinkable in March: We will never really get back to normal. The old world where business leaders could dismiss the idea of a global pandemic as a remote risk no longer exists, and many of our routines and expectations may be forever changed. Meanwhile, moving forward with confidence may be stalled by uncertainties that make it difficult to think long term: Can the business reopen? Can employees send kids to school or day care?

Plotting Strategy in a Dynamic World
Companies can no longer rely on traditional forecasting exercises to spot — and capitalize on — emerging threats and opportunities.

The Overlooked Key to Leading Through Chaos
Managers who focus on developing sensemaking capabilities can make better decisions in a complex and unpredictable world.

Five Strategies Every Leader Must Embrace to Harness Disruption
COVID-19’s threat to businesses is not just the immediate loss of revenue from slowed and shuttered operations. The biggest risk will come from accelerated disruption, generated by far-reaching changes in customer behavior and dramatic shifts in business regulation.

Leading Remotely Requires New Communication Strategies
Managing a team remotely during COVID-19 has presented its own set of challenges, particularly for business leaders like me who are used to having open-door policies at work. We know our employees are facing new struggles and fears. They have all sorts of questions about the direction of the company, what’s expected of them, which projects are on hold, and more.

Speaking to Customers in Uncertain Times
Businesses are increasingly operating in a low-trust world. The levels at which people mistrust government, traditional media, and social media are high — and rising.1 Companies increasingly struggle to maintain consumer confidence on issues such as data collection and privacy, the use of artificial intelligence, and environmental practices.

The Age of Accelerating Strategy Breakthroughs
Companies showing the most agility and resilience in their response to the global pandemic are pursuing four main strategies.

What New Normal Should We Create?
We currently exist within a world that is unfrozen from the constraints of routine, habits, and norms. By leveraging this moment to explore, experiment, and learn, organizations and their community stakeholders have a unique opportunity to redefine the scope of their priorities and collective actions.

Cybersecurity for a Remote Workforce
Employees are starting to return to offices as countries begin to ease COVID-19-induced lockdowns and lift stay-at-home orders. But as uncertainty related to the pandemic lingers, many organizations are choosing to maintain semi-remote, virtual workplaces over the next 12 to 18 months — and possibly for good. Facebook is allowing employees to work from home permanently, while Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify announced that it is becoming “digital by default.”

The Age of Accelerating Strategy Breakthroughs
Companies showing the most agility and resilience in their response to the global pandemic are pursuing four main strategies.

Create a Crisis Growth Plan: Start With Opportunity Marketplaces
Successful strategic execution may depend on this emerging talent management strategy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted how most global enterprises operate. With new priorities comes an urgent and strategically important challenge: ensuring that enough of the right people are working on the right opportunities at the right time, all while operating in an investment-constrained environment. Organizations should have visibility into their workforce capabilities and deployments to make informed decisions about how to optimally allocate their workforces.

The Secret to Supporting Your Workforce in Critical Times
Coauthors Mollie West Duffy and Liz Fosslien suggest that rather than shying away from personal feelings, smart managers recognize and embrace the power of emotions in times of crisis.

Ranking How National Economies Adapt to Remote Work
Understanding how a country’s mix of occupations, technology infrastructure, and demographic characteristics have affected people’s ability to work from home can help government and business leaders prepare for future disruptions.

Five Ways Leaders Can Support Remote Work
The shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges. Yet, there is some good news: Organizations worldwide are experimenting with creative solutions to meet their people’s needs. After analyzing a recent survey taken by HR leaders and other employees, we’ve uncovered five principles that can help you more effectively manage a distributed workforce.

New Leadership Challenges for the Virtual World of Work
By Alec Levenson and Patrick McLaughlin – June 4, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis, senior leaders must rethink key decision-making processes in order to enhance trust, transparency, and teamwork.

The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly and dramatically upended the working world, creating unanticipated business and leadership challenges. Some organizations are pivoting hard to new delivery channels, new products, and new operating models without having enough time to manage the impact of these changes thoughtfully. As a result, many executives currently find themselves shooting from the hip, bereft of their usual channels to engage deeply with stakeholders and gain agreement on the path forward.

Disruption 2020 – Spring 2020 Issue

Read our special issue on what it will take to innovate and compete over the next decade.

AI, Robots, and Ethics in the Age of COVID-19

Before COVID-19, most people had some degree of apprehension about robots and artificial intelligence. Though their beliefs may have been initially shaped by dystopian depictions of the technology in science fiction, their discomfort was reinforced by legitimate concerns. Some of AI’s business applications were indeed leading to the loss of jobs, the reinforcement of biases, and infringements on data privacy. Those worries appear to have been set aside since the onset of the pandemic as AI-infused technologies have been employed to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Webinar: Leading Through a Crisis Day-by-Day
Eric J. McNulty and Paul Michelman May 08, 2020

There is an art to leading through dark and uncertain times. There’s much we can’t control, but thoughtful leaders can use hope and compassion to encourage their team, promote resilience, assuage fear, and help team members see into the future.

A Long Time Until the Economic New Normal
By Alec Levenson April 10, 2020

A full economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely, and the new version of normal for work and organizations is further off than we think. We are in the middle of a historic rupture in the economic fabric of our society. The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a pervasive impact on the United States, and economic and financial market experts are hotly debating how quickly the economy will recover once we get “on the other side” of the contagion and the enormous pressures it has placed on our health care system. Although it is too early to estimate the exact economic impact, it is likely that full recovery of economic activity, including GDP growth, jobs, and unemployment, will take at least a year, and likely much longer.

Invest in People to Best Manage Through Disruption

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.

How Companies Can Respond to the Coronavirus

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.

Leading Through COVID-19

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.

12 Articles for Managing With Resilience in a Time of Uncertainty

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.

11 Sources of Disruption Every Company Must Monitor


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.

Key During a Crisis: Transparency


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.

Debunking Disruption Delusions


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.

Source: NeuroLeadership Institute

5 Ways Science Shows Us How To Work Better Virtually

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.

Why You Should Stop Obsessing About Coronavirus News, and How to Do It

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.

Webinar | Coronavirus: What Science Says Leaders Should Do

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.

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Source: Leapgen

A Now of Work Digital Meetup, powered by Leapgen

Coronavirus. COVID-19. What we’re all talking about. The global pandemic that is radically changing how we work and how we conduct business in the future.

We’ve never seen change like this. Change sweeping as rapidly as the pandemic itself, affecting the way work gets done (or doesn’t). Leapgen announces a new weekly meetup to help us all work together, in real time, to address significant challenges and find opportunities to better serve the New World of Work.


Register now for this weekly Meetup, offered online every Friday.
As physical events become harder to make reality, virtual events are now mandatory. []Leapgen is a virtual company, and we’re proud to continue to power a virtual community.Date: Every Friday, beginning March 13
Location: ONLINE
Time: 10:00 AM PT/ 1:00 PM ET


We’re providing an online community for all of us. Join the Digital Meetup Slack channel for real-time input, help, and resources. We’re all in this together!



Source: Wall Street Journal
(updated November 10, 2021)

Wall Street Journal: Employee Resource Groups are on the Rise at U.S. Companies
Also known as affinity groups, these self-help organizations are expanding and gaining power, as companies view them as strategic allies.

Navigating the New Normal at Work
The pandemic fundamentally changed the way we work and women bore the brunt of that shift. As companies head back to the office or opt for hybrid work models, employees and managers are planning for a new, pandemic-infused reality.

The Biggest Mistakes Bosses Will Make With Workers Returning After Covid-19
There’s little doubt that how we work changed dramatically during the sudden, unexpected and extensive experiment in remote work brought on by the pandemic.

Half of U.S. Adults Are Fully Vaccinated Against Covid-19
Half of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, federal officials said Tuesday, a sign of the nation’s progress in fighting the pandemic.

CEOs Speak About the Economy, the World Reopening, Crypto and More
The leaders of Citigroup, Delta and IBM, among others, discuss how business is evolving, as Covid-19 vaccinations roll out

Wary of New Lockdowns, CFOs Stand Ready With Covid Contingency Plans
Finance chiefs say they are wary of new lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, but have contingency plans ready—in contrast to the spring, when restrictions caught many companies off guard.

Going Back to Work Tips on What Your Boss Can and Can’t Make You do

Summary: As states across the country begin reopening how do employees navigate their return to the office? Employees have widely reported their affinity for the current teleworking environment, so what if they do not want to come back to work? What if their employer is not complying with sanitation requirements? Are they entitled to hazard pay? This article consulted a panel of employment lawyers to help provide the answers to these questions and many more.

Access Key Insights from The Wall Street Journal on the Coronavirus

Download a special report with WSJ’s guide to coping with the outbreak.
Download Now
Join a WSJ Webinar on How Companies Can Adjust for Coronavirus Impact
Learn about measures being deployed to control the spread of the virus and rational steps that businesses can take to manage their risks.
Register Now


Source: MM&M, (Medical Marketing & Media)

10 myths about COVID-19

Natasha Priya Dyal, MD

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.

Source: Willis Towers Watson
(updated November 16, 2021)

People, risk and capital: Lead out of the current crisis, not the last one
Future-seeking leaders combine defensive action with a strong offense, recognizing and embracing that they need to take different actions to lead out of the current crisis.

How the TMT industry found reservoirs of creativity and resiliency during COVID-19
It’s too soon to say we have put all of the challenges of the past year and a half behind us, but the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector quickly learned new ways of doing business.

Trending topics in digital employee communication
What are employers communicating with their employees about these days?

New EEOC guidance on employer COVID-19 vaccine policies, incentives
Generally, employers may require onsite employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if ADA and other equal employment opportunity requirements are met.

Preparing for a post-pandemic world: Transforming human capital and benefit actions
Organizations have a clear opportunity to employ key learnings as they emerge from the pandemic to become even stronger in the post-COVID-19 era.

Accelerating human capital strategies: Winter 2020/2021 update
Companies can take action to protect their human capital, enhance employee safety and work policies, and manage costs during the COVID-19 surge.

How COVID-19 is reshaping the design and delivery of global benefits
A thought-provoking discussion between industry leaders around the impact COVID-19 is having on the global benefit landscape and how best to tackle the challenges this causes to the benefit design and delivery.

Hit Reset on Health and Group Benefits
This series covers opportunities for employers to evolve their employee benefits strategies as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

Infographic: Employees struggle with stress, anxiety or depression during COVID
Employees often struggle with severe stress and anxiety. Discover why increasing access to mental health services is critical.

Pandemic impacts on benefit programs: Multinational perspectives
Key findings from 2020 COVID-19 Benefits Survey
We examined the benefit changes organizations have made in response to the pandemic. Findings reveal that employers are supporting workers by enhancing programs.

Pandemic impacts on benefit programs: Multinational perspectives
We examined the benefit changes organizations have made in response to the pandemic. Findings reveal that employers are supporting workers by enhancing programs.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Insights
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has disrupted daily life as we know it, roiled financial markets and instilled fear and uncertainty in many, challenging leaders in government and business to allay concerns and respond to the crisis. We are approaching the array of issues COVID-19 presents through the lenses of people, risk and capital, creating content daily in these three areas to help business better understand and manage the crisis.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Impact On Metric and Goal Setting
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.

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Source: LRN Corporation
(updated September 7, 2021)

4 board engagement strategy ideas for effective compliance programs
Over the last 12 to 18 months, businesses in every sector have been challenged like never before. They have faced unprecedented economic, environmental, and health crises forcing everyone to adapt at a breakneck pace. Simultaneously, organizations are still expected to adhere to their publicly stated values, particularly when it pertains to workplace conduct.

COVID-19 Was Ultimate ‘Stress Test’ for Ethics & Compliance Programs, Says Annual LRN Report
COVID-19 proved to be the ultimate “stress test” for ethics and compliance programs worldwide, but employees said their companies largely rose to the challenge, according to the latest annual Ethics and Compliance report published by LRN.

Covid-19 is imposing fundamental changes to the way organizations around the world operate. These changes require complex navigation of business operations and employee responsibility to ensure everyone’s safety while shining a light on corporate leadership.

Can CECOs Deliver on DEI Expectations?
Over recent months, amid increasing calls for racial equity and social justice in the U.S., culture and values systems within American companies have become an area of greater focus and dialogue. The important role of the chief compliance officer in moving the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and initiatives at companies has come to the fore.

As Companies Recast Themselves in Pandemic Economy, How Likely Are They to Ensure Good Behavior and Conduct?
Only just over half (53%) of ethics, compliance and legal executives say their companies’ senior leaders take action and responsibility when there are ethics and compliance failures. And less than half (46%) say leaders support effective sanctions or penalties on executives involved in misconduct.

Mental Health during COVID-19 Infographic
This LRN New Normal Infographic shares some insights about experiencing anticipatory grief due to COVID-19. There is a collective loss of normalcy, a sense of connection, and routine, coupled with an increase in fear and anticipation of the future. Help your employees work from home, return to the workplace, and handle the new normal with our new kits.

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.




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.

The world of normal that existed before COVID-19 is gone forever, Gordon Lichfield writes in MIT Technology Review. Politico weighs in on how coronavirus will permanently change the world.

Boards are planning for long-term repercussions from COVID-19, WSJ reports.

HBR asks if your code of conduct is sending the right message. Kellogg Insight wonders if your code is encouraging misconduct.

Crisis management expert Davia Temin shares eight best practices in a pandemic.

U.K. enforcement authorities weigh in on COVID-19. Alison Taylor and Raj Thamotheram write about investing in an age of pandemics.

Kristy Grant-Hart writes about being a leader in a time of crisis. Mike Robbins writes in Forbes about leading in the midst of uncertainty. Also in Forbes: leadership in the time of COVID-19.

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.

Source: Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)
(updated October 5, 2021)

Top 10 Work Trends: Q3 Round Ups from Trend Champions
At the end of 2020, SIOP conducted its annual survey to identify the Top 10 Work Trends for 2021.

Remote Work Incivility: I Don’t Get No Respect
Research on the incidence of remote work incivility is lacking, though incivility at work has long been a common experience. Discourtesies may be overt, or they may be subtle. There is a fine line between remote work etiquette and remote work incivility.

Employee Well-Being in the Face of a Pandemic: Organizational and Managerial Responses to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the way in which work is done. Maintaining a healthy workforce and ensuring employee well-being in the face of the pandemic is important for long-term organizational success. In this white paper, we adopt a self-determination theory perspective to address organizational and managerial responses to COVID-19 that are effective at maintaining employee well-being by supporting employee competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Effective organizational responses may include alternatives to layoffs, providing tangible benefits, and implementing safe and motivating work conditions. Likewise, managers should consider goal setting, affording job control, and creating trust through effective communication.

Top 10 Work Trends for 2021
A Year Like No Other Ushers in New Trends Along With Enduring Topics in SIOP’s 8th Annual Top 10 Work Trends List

I-O Psychology and the Response to COVID-19: A Call to Action
In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the health and safety of the global community while also drastically altering the world of work. Mandatory quarantining and other safety precautions such as social distancing to protect individuals from the virus’s spread have moved a significant portion of the workforce to a new location: home. This public health crisis has also triggered an economic crisis, with millions laid off of work while others, such as first responders and frontline workers, face increased work demands and risks despite limited resources.

SWAM Looks at Automation, Algorithmic Selection, and Workforce Health and Well-Being
September is Smarter Workplace Awareness Month, which is dedicated to sharing information about how the science and practice of I-O psychology can improve worker well-being while creating more effective organizations. Each week this month, SIOP will share member-created content about the topics that are important in the world of work, as uncovered in the 2020 SIOP Top 10 Workplace Trends.

Boosting Job Performance When Working from Home: Four Key Strategies
The outbreak of COVID-19 forced many companies to adopt remote work practices, including many who traditionally did not support flexible work arrangements. Several of these companies have now embraced remote working, claiming people’s productivity during this time means they will allow more flexibility in the future.

Working Through COVID-19: Guidance for Organizations and Professionals

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has required organizations and employees to change what, how, and where work is performed. As current prevention and treatment options necessitate continued social distancing, focus is shifting toward preparing for a redefined future.

Remote Work

SIOP Feature: Teaming in the Age of COVID-19

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

SIOP Feature: Caught in the Middle: 10 Tips for Managers Leading From Home

White Paper: Getting Engaged: Top Tips for an Engaged Workforce

Work-Life Balance

SIOP Feature: Tips for Working From Home With an Infant During COVID-19

SIOP Feature: Work-Family Balance Struggles in the Time of COVID-19

SIOP Feature: Tips for balancing work and home during COVID-19

White Paper: Work-Life Balance

SIOP Feature: Finding Balance: Evidence-Based Strategies for Employers

Organizational Agility

SIOP Feature:  Landing on Our Feet:  The Importance of Learning Agility in a World Turned Upside Down

SIOP Feature:  Seven Things to Build Agility and Resilience

SIOP Feature:  Seven tips to help your business survive the COVID-19 crisis

SIOP Feature:  A Fresh Look at Resilience: Outcomes, Inputs, and Processes

White Paper: Agility and Agile: An Introduction for People, Teams, and Organizations

Worker Well-Being

SIOP Feature:  Tripled Levels of Poor Mental Health: But There Is Plenty Managers Can Do

SIOP Feature:  Using emotional intelligence to take care of yourself and others in a virtual world

SIOP Feature:  Managing Stress During COVID-19: The Dark Side of Personality

SIOP Feature: COVID-19 and Public Health Emergencies: What I-O Psychologists Should Know

Member-Supplied Resource:  4 key strategies to help supervisors support employee well-being during COVID-19

Member-Supplied Resource:  APS Backgrounder Series: Psychological Science and COVID-19: Working Remotely

Recent Press

PBS Newshour: Answering viewer questions about workplace safety during the pandemic

The reason Zoom calls drain your energy

Tips for balancing work and home during COVID-19 pandemic

Psychologists’ advice for newly remote workers

Remote Working, Disability Support And Anxiety – Six Tips To Managing Staff In The COVID Crisis

Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way

Your Coronavirus Work-From-Home Wellness Plan

How to effectively manage a team during a pandemic while everyone works from home

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.

 Remote Work

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

Work-Life Balance

White Paper: Work-Life Balance

SIOP Feature: Finding Balance: Evidence-Based Strategies for Employers

Organizational Agility

White Paper: Agility and Agile: An Introduction for People, Teams, and Organizations

Worker Well-Being

SIOP Feature: COVID-19 and Public Health Emergencies: What I-O Psychologists Should Know

Member-Supplied Resource:  4 key strategies to help supervisors support employee well-being during COVID-19

Recent Press

Remote Working, Disability Support And Anxiety – Six Tips To Managing Staff In The COVID Crisis

Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way

Your Coronavirus Work-From-Home Wellness Plan

Go Back to the Contents

Source: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
(updated November 10, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccination Resources

Learning Continues Through Virtual Conferences
Virtual events filled the gap when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted cancellation of in-person seminars, conferences and other gatherings.

Viewpoint: 10 Fact-Based HR Practices for Company Success
By Benjamin Schneider – June 21, 2021
As companies strive to return to a new normal, it is important to have an integrated approach that ensures the new normal is a positive one for all employees.

Inspire the Desire for Employee Engagement
The pandemic has raised an interesting cross-section of organizations embracing social issues while individuals overlapped the personal with the professional. Has the work-from-home conundrum taught us to synchronize individuality with collectivism or will we revert to cubicle farm cheese chasing?

Now More Than Ever – The future of diversity and inclusion leadership: the new HR and the WHY for sustainable progress
HR is not perfect, but there is a saying: the only people not making mistakes are those doing nothing. HR can’t be accused of idleness. But there are ways to do better, and now more than ever, the HR has a chance to reinvent itself while supporting employees, educating people on all levels of an organization, and ensuring justice and fairness.

The Hybrid Workplace and the Trust Challenge
The concept of trust and exchange relationships at work in their many forms needs to be on our HR radar moving forward.

Measuring the ROI of Soft Skills
In today’s pandemic, HR faces both an opportunity and a challenge when it comes to investing in workers’ soft skills. The way to capitalize on the former and overcome the latter lies in accurately measuring their benefits for a company.

What is the Most Important Component of a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Plan? Access! (IDEA)
For years Diversity and Inclusion Departments have been trying to be included in driving business solutions and, in my opinion, to no avail. Diversity and Inclusion strategic plans are futile because they are not built on a foundation of equity and on an understanding that the most critical issue is Access. If you read the trailblazing research by Tina Q. Tan (2019), you can only believe in the full concept of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access).

Organizational Culture: It Needs to Help Employees Through the Hard Times
As human resources professionals, we know the importance of creating a positive candidate experience so people will come to work for our companies. And we understand that creating a positive employee experience will result in increased employee engagement, higher productivity, and reduced turnover.  We also understand that we must work on all of them. We can’t sacrifice the employee experience for a better candidate experience. Because if we do, it will create a disconnect that ultimately leads to disengagement and turnover.

10 Ways to Develop Top Tech Talent
Despite the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on employment, several talent segments are still highly desired and needed for hiring. One segment that is consistently in demand and critical for companies to get right is tech-related workers. With tech workers in tremendous demand and their skills and tools continuing to change, it’s imperative HR leaders learn how to attract, manage and retain this critical talent pool. 

5 Steps to Create a Talent Strategy for Future Success
When the Harvard Business Review recently asked 24 high-profile CEOs to name their biggest challenges, “talent management” topped that list. Having the right talent, fully engaged, in the right position with the right compensation, so their businesses can stave off competitors, has become a paramount concern for CEOs—an issue as likely to give them cold sweats at night as the prospect of missing their quarterly numbers. These leaders understand that their future success likely will be determined by an ability to transform their organizations not just once but continuously, and that rapidly recruiting or developing the right talent to drive those changes will be crucial. 

Reopening and Restarting: Four Things to Consider
Human resources professionals are an agile group of people (but you already knew that, right?!). We are always shifting to keep up with the latest laws, workplace trends, HR tech innovations, employee needs and expectations, and now our latest challenge: the fallout from a global pandemic. This brings a multitude of new considerations to the workplace, and to HR professionals.

When “Open-Up Business” Activism Creates Tension at Work
Some of those employees have become outspoken advocates for the “open-up business” movement and even pressure co-workers to call politicians and signing petitions. This “activism” is creating tension across the board among staff who don’t yet feel safe coming back.  How do I handle this?

How to Navigate the New Normal
A virus brought the world to its knees and as we begin to move forward, many people are curious to know what the New Normal will look like. I am curious too, and what I am most curious to know, is what are we learning?

11+ Ideas to Engage and Support Your Remote Teams
In recent weeks the podcast has covered critical topics like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and how HR technology providers are supporting businesses during this time. Today, we’re going to take a step toward engaging those workers that are working remotely, many of them doing so for the first time.

Establishing Kindness and Trust in the Workplace by Josh Bersin
It’s a challenging time. Political divisiveness is rife. Economic gaps get wider. And now, the world is on edge over the health and economic impact of a new virus. It’s clear to me that employers must become the trusted entity in peoples’ lives, in addition to the source of earnings, career and job fulfillment. Any company that fails to do this will lose top people, lose top customers and fail to achieve its financial goals.

The challenges facing employers during these uncertain times are growing exponentially. We know that great things happen when the community comes together and connects. Our response as HR professionals in the coming days and weeks will impact not only our workplaces also the entire world around us.

As an HR professional, you are the center of it all. You have to stay compliant with ever-changing state and local policies, navigate difficult layoff and furlough decisions, create and execute a telework policy, and the list goes on. Now more than ever, you can lean on SHRM for continuing guidance on the coronavirus crisis, including analysis of new legislation, policies and procedures, access to over 3,000+ articles, tools and templates, and so much more.


Layoffs & Furloughs:

Ensure that your business complies with a host of employment laws through our resource center. It is designed to help HR navigate both the human and legal aspects of employee terminations and layoffs.


Remote Workers:

Whether remote work is permanent or temporary, SHRM’s resources can help employers facilitate flexible work arrangements and navigate an array of technologies and remote work policies to meet their needs for secure, productive ways to get work done.


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.

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.

Source: Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS)
(updated June 2, 2020)

Webcast: Bringing Employees Back to the Office

Companies are increasingly starting to turn their attention to how to bring employees back to the office as state and local governments have begun to reduce stay in place orders and seek to reopen the economy.  We conducted three CAHRS virtual working groups to better understand the challenges of reopening offices and facilities and bringing back employees who have been working from home for the past 6-8 weeks.  In this webcast moderated by Professor and CAHRS Academic Director Brad Bell, and Chris Collins Professor, Human Resource Studies and Director of ILR Graduate Studies will share key takeaways, best practices, and interesting ideas from this series of working groups that may help CAHRS partner companies think through these challenges.

During this 60 minute webcast, we will share key learnings and take questions from participants on topics ranging from:

1.    Key questions to consider regarding bringing employees back to the office;
2.    Best practices for safely bringing employees back to the office;
3.    Key aspects of communication and culture change related to bringing some employees back to the office; and
4.    Interesting ideas for helping employees manage the stress, anxiety, and challenges of the current work environment and when bringing employees back to the office.

Not All Telecommuting is Created Equal: An Examination of the Effects of Telecommuting Design Research Brief

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.

Source: Korn Ferry
(updated November 16, 2021)

Finding Purpose During the Great Resignation
Americans are looking for something more meaningful out of work. Organizations that offer it to them could reap tremendous gains, says best-selling author Daniel Goleman.

Next Up: Mandatory Booster Shots?
The issue of COVID vaccine boosters will be landing on corporate desks in the coming weeks.

A Different Kind of Work Return
Companies are trying to fill open positions through “returnships” and coaxing people out of retirement. But will it be enough to solve the labor shortage?

Delta Variant: What’s Next for Going Back to the Office?
A surge of COVID cases and the resulting new mask mandates create a whole new leadership dilemma on an already sensitive issue.

Board Effectiveness: Stepping Up or Not Stepping Enough?
The pandemic continues to hamper board involvement—to the point where directors question their influence.

6 Ways to Find Your ‘Vanished’ Work Contacts
Executives who spent years developing network allies and mentors are watching many of them disappear in the virus era. How to get them back—gently

Do I Really Have to Return to the Office?
During the COVID-19 crisis, many corporate executives have been surprised at how quickly their employees could adapt to doing their jobs remotely. What may surprise them more is that many of those employees aren’t too keen about going back to the workplace.

When Korn Ferry asked more than 1,000 professionals this month what they were most looking forward to when they return to the office, 20% of them said “nothing.” At the same time, half of them said they are fearful of going back due to health concerns. The indifference and wariness is a reminder to corporate leaders that going back to whatever “normal” work life was before the outbreak may be unrealistic or, worse, counterproductive.

Leading through a crisis
The coronavirus may be the most challenging crisis today’s leaders will face in their lifetimes. Unlike past crises, where CEOs could make reasonable judgements based on economics and market behaviors, the coronavirus presents an entirely different type of risk and level of uncertainty. High stake strategic decisions are being made everyday – leader and Board roles have amplified and become 24×7. And as importantly as making high quality strategic decisions – leaders also need to communicate and respond to everyone touched by the organization in a thoughtful, empathetic and positive way.

Engaging and enabling people through change
Change is hard. And in a crisis like COVID-19, it gets very complex. We see employees wrestling with personal challenges – from chaotic home working environments to unplanned career transitions. Leaders are faced with keeping their workforce engaged and productive, while keeping the business running and building for the future. As leaders, the key to addressing these challenges is to manage change and communicate with empathy. Organizations that take this approach will enable their people to succeed in the most unpredictable environments and build a stronger united workforce.

COVID-19: Inside the Corner Office
Many corporate CEOs are facing their toughest leadership challenge. Two Korn Ferry veterans on what they’re hearing—and seeing—from the corner office.

The Risk of Cutting Dividends
Pandemic-hit firms are cutting some of their $300 billion in global quarterly dividends. That has impact—seen and unseen.

Who Do You Want to Be?
Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison says today’s trying times give people a chance to take new perspectives on work and life. Five thoughts to consider.

A New Sense of Purpose to Your Job
Healthcare employees are on the front lines, but workers in other fields are experiencing a higher self-value now too, says best-selling author Daniel Goleman.

Three Sectors (Still) Hiring
The job market is grim, but some pockets of strength remain. Our look at the opportunities.

Source: BigSpeak
(updated April 13, 2020)

It’s week six of the BigSpeak Webinar, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve sat through more video meetings, conference calls, and webinars in the past month than you maybe have in the past few years combined. Feeling a little burnt out? We’re with you.

This week, we present the UnWebinar with Tiffani Bova, the Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. She is the author of the WSJ Bestseller Growth IQ, and host of the podcast What’s Next! with Tiffani Bova, which has featured guests from Arianna Huffington to Dan Pink.

In this session, we will be discussing:I

  • Doing business during a Black Swan event
  • How to respond, reset and reimagine your companies future path to growth.
  • Best practices for events during the “new normal”

What is an UnWebinar? You tell us. What’s on your mind? We’ll be doing an extended Q&A, a few polls, and you might even see a few special guests from the BigSpeak team.

Submit your questions, comments, or topics to discuss in advance via this form. You can also submit your questions during the live broadcast, or by replying to this email.

All sessions of the webinar are recorded and distributed to attendees the day after the broadcast. For those unable to attend, recordings are also available on our website. At BigSpeak, we understand that this is an adverse time for many of our partners, and we are here to help however we can.

Source: Beyond HR Forum
(updated November 10, 2021)

The re-imagination of HR
The world of work of tomorrow is going to be very, very different. It is a world where current HR concepts (which are very often not even effective today) will be misaligned and where human beings no longer want and expect to be measured and assessed predominantly on the basis of cost and productivity. In other words; we need to stop refining concepts for HR that were designed for the world of today and yesterday.

5 skills employers are looking for right now
The equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs have been lost globally since COVID-19 hit, according to the International Labour Organization. Manufacturers, airlines and retailers have announced redundancies in the thousands. The young have been particularly hard hit.

What happens to industry and employment after COVID-19?
There will be an ‘after’ COVID-19. Which industries and companies survive and thrive depends on an ability to adapt, reorganize, and implement digital technologies.

5 Tips for Safely Reopening Your Office

Open now? Open later? As debate rages about restarting economies, one critical element is absent from discussion. The predictor of our success or failure will have less to do with when businesses open their doors and more to do with how often people open their mouths.

The Restart: Eight actions to take to a relaunch of economic activity.

As governments in Europe announce plans to end the lockdown, a new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us. It is a time for hope but also for caution. The end of the lockdown will not spell a return to the old “normal”, nor will it be universal. The opening will take different shapes, with different countries, different regions, and different business sectors opening up in different ways and at differing speeds. The virus still lurks and the ability to contain its spread will dictate what happens next; any resurgence will likely bring about renewed restrictions. Large-scale testing and tracing, the broad availability of masks, and sufficient intensive-care capacity in hospitals will determine the pace of recovery.

Beyond coronavirus: The path to the next normal
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.

“For some organizations, near-term survival is the only agenda item. Others are peering through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the crisis has passed and things return to normal. The question is, ‘What will normal look like?’ While no one can say how long the crisis will last, what we find on the other side will not look like the normal of recent years.”

A Time to Lead with Purpose and Humanity
In a few short weeks, we have entered a crisis unlike anything most of us have ever seen. A crisis where any pre-existing course of action has to be put on hold or reset. A crisis that can naturally lead anyone to feel frustrated, annoyed, overwhelmed, afraid, concerned about themselves and others, and unsure of what to do.

Go Back to the Contents

Source: MedPage Today
(updated May 28, 2020)

Want the U.S. to Go Back to Work? Here’s How

— The critical role of employers as America reopens

Across the country, employers large and small have been thrust into uncharted territory as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic. For months, essential businesses — such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and delivery companies — have found themselves squarely at the frontlines of the pandemic. As pressure to reopen the economy intensifies, many more employers will quickly find themselves in a similar predicament. 

Source: Reuters
(updated June 2, 2020)

The End of the Open Plan Office? Workspaces Get Post-Pandemic Makeovers
Summary: As governments relax social distancing measures and employees return to work, organizations are redesigning workspaces to protect employee health. But they need to mind the impact these changes may have on the employee experience, says CAHRS Director and ILR HR Studies Professor Brad Bell. Redesigns that inhibit social interaction may lead some employees to feel more isolated, which can decrease job satisfaction and increase stress. While some organizations may be able to shift to remote work over the long run, others will need to bring employees back to the office sooner rather than later, balancing employee wellbeing and productivity all the while.

In May, Professor Chris Collins led three virtual working groups from 30 different CAHRS Partner companies to discuss the challenges and practices for Bringing Employees Back to the Workplace bringing employees back to the workplace, as well as the long-term cultural shifts in working.

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business
(updated October 5, 2021)

Sustainable Supply Chains Helped Companies Endure the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic put the fundamentals of economics front and center. As global supply chains were disrupted early last year, inventories ran short and prices rose. Yet even when things seemed to be falling apart, many businesses didn’t just fall back on the basics of supply and demand. Instead, they doubled down on making their supply chains more sustainable, a move that contributed to their survival, according to a survey of executives.

The Pandemic Blew Up the American Office — For Better and Worse
Widespread working from home is here to stay, but its benefits are unevenly distributed.

How a Restaurateur Is Navigating the Pandemic
Sales at America’s biggest restaurant franchisee plunged 60% after COVID-19 hit, but the company survived. Why? “The strength of the team,” says owner Greg Flynn.

True Diversity Comes from Within
Diverse corporate cultures are good, but the best encourage workers to embrace the diversity of their personal, sometimes conflicting, beliefs.

Eat, Sleep, Zoom
In the months since his company became a global verb, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan has never been busier. Or more exhausted. Or happier.   If you think you have Zoom fatigue, imagine being Eric Yuan. Even when he’s not actually Zooming — and he Zooms a lot, Zooms as much as anybody — he’s thinking or talking about Zoom, the company he founded and runs.

How to Be a Good Boss in Trying Times
Offering compassion, predictability, and control can help, say two Stanford experts.

Journeying Through the Pandemic
Mitigate the psychological trauma wrought by COVID-19 by making meaning out of tragedy.

The New Work-Life Reality Raises Equity and Inclusion Concerns
Beware of letting the COVID-19 crisis exacerbate established biases, warns a focus group of corporate and nonprofit leaders.

COVID-19 Changes Everything — and Nothing — About Managing Workers
Summary: In spite of the pandemic’s seismic effects on the nature of work, the principles of effective HR hold true. Layoffs significantly impact employee health for the worse and hinder organizational performance when the economy begins to recover—employers who can avoid them should do so. Work-family conflict is associated with greater absenteeism, reduced productivity, and turnover, so the crisis is an opportunity to redress work-life balance. Furthermore, employee wellbeing and engagement rely on the collection of feedback. Now more than ever it is important to check the pulse of your employees.

Source: Knowable Magazine
(updated June 2, 2020)

Could Covid-19 Usher in a New Era of Working from Home?
Summary: The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown many companies into the deep end of teleworking. Even though over 60% of American companies offered the benefit prior to the current crisis, less than half of US workers took advantage of it. This number doubled during the mid-March through early April and about 60% of U.S. employees working at home would like to keep doing so in some capacity once the crisis is over. Not surprisingly, the shift to remote work has not come without its challenges. Brad Bell, CAHRS Director and ILR HR Studies Professor, suggests that measuring the effectiveness of mobile work could pose a challenge in these early stages.

Source: Deloitte (updated October 18, 2021)

A new language for digital transformation
From disruptors and disruptive tech to pandemics, political unrest, and climate change, winning the future depends on adaptation. To survive and thrive, leaders should determine how to maintain a competitive advantage and enable an ability to win in a way that doesn’t just withstand change but embraces it to generate new strategic possibilities.

Reconstructing the workplace, The digital-ready organization
During the global pandemic, when many of us were prevented from working in our usual offices for an extended period of time, we undertook what was commonly framed as a shift from working in the office to working from home. But though this change in location created logistical challenges, the fact that we were working in a different place was not the most transformational shift. The truly important thing is not that we worked from our homes, but that we adopted a wholly digital way of working.

Future-proofing the business
Building a superior experience for health plan customers through digital transformation

Remote work strategies for COVID-19 and beyond
Many organizations developed a remote workforce nearly overnight due to COVID-19. Some workers now want it to stick around even after the pandemic ends. Turning temporary work-from-home orders into a permanent plan, though, demands more than good videoconferencing. You need a remote work strategy and the policies and operations to execute it.

Workforce strategies for post COVID-19 recovery
The bridge from responding to the crisis to preparing to thrive in a new normal
Insights for organizations moving beyond responding to the immediate crisis, towards strategies for accelerating recovery.

Impact of COVID-19 on shared services and GBS
We conducted more than 40 in-depth interviews with global business services (GBS), shared services, and business process outsourcing (BPO) organizations—in addition to hosting virtual roundtables with 60 leaders—to understand their challenges and responses to COVID-19, as well as plans for the future. Explore five areas where conventional

2020 Global Human Capital Trends
Summary: The Covid-19 pandemic has made our futures a lot more uncertain while highlighting and accelerating certain human capital trends. So where do we go from here? The Deloitte 2020 Human Capital report emphasizes that the pandemic has revealed that certain changes in the workforce are not only inevitable, but urgent. Some examples include increasing focus on employee engagement and belonging, devising future-facing workforce metrics to prepare for uncertainty, and integrating AI into the workforce. Unifying all these examples is the idea of empowering organizations that can not only survive, but thrive in times of uncertainty and change.

Source: HR Executive
(updated October 26, 2021)

3 keys to perfecting employee engagement in the new world of work
Engagement is the foundation of work today. Here’s how to create, sustain and accelerate it from a VP of performance acceleration.

Is your talent really walking out the door to avoid a COVID vaccine?
One of employers’ biggest hesitancies for mandating vaccination is a fear of losing employees in a hot job market. Here’s what’s happening so far.

New CDC mask guidance is upping employee anxiety. Now what?
Three keys for how employers can help workers navigate another stressful transition.

 More employers are turning to this incentive to encourage vaccines
About half of organizations say they’re offering employees PTO to get COVID jabs, i4cp research finds.

Why this CHRO is bringing ‘safety first’ to life
Integrity Staffing Solutions’ Susan Baxter says HR and safety go hand in hand, even before the pandemic.

 COLLECTION: Strategies to manage coronavirus in the workplace
Latest news and insights to how HR can best respond for the betterment of their employees.

 Technology and the modern workplace: Cultivating D&I
Top 100 HR Tech Influencer delves into how to leverage technology to foster trust and boost diversity, inclusion.

The biggest risk facing HR leaders? Not taking enough risk
It’s time for HR to rise to the moment, take some real risks and redefine what human resources means to organizations.

How to make pandemic-era meetings work
Virtual meetings can still be effective, if employers follow specific guidelines, according to new research.

 5 ways HR can prioritize L&D in times of change
In the face of disruptive change, these strategies can help employers optimize the value of their learning investments.

Study: Pandemic taking greater toll on women in the workforce
Here are 3 data-based questions HR leaders should ask to improve employee experience for men and women.

COLLECTION: Strategies to manage coronavirus in the workplace
The latest news and insights to how HR can best respond for the betterment of their employees.

A Positive Product of the Pandemic: Culture
Actions are amplified during trying times like the COVID-19 crisis and recent protests.

Is COVID-19 a Turning Point for Workplace Mental Health?
Summary: With drastic changes to work, finances, family, and social life in this “new normal” many employees are grappling with mental health challenges. As employees turn to their employers for support, it has revealed flaws in the mental health benefits and programs offered by many firms. The spectrum spans from poor communication about existing offerings to a complete lack and willingness to invest in mental health resources. However, across industries there have been an uptick in the number of new and creative programs offered. Many workplaces have also used this as an opportunity to change their culture and leadership training that encourage more empathy and support.

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Source: The Atlantic
(updated July 30, 2020)

A Vaccine Reality Check
Nearly five months into the pandemic, all hopes of extinguishing COVID-19 are riding on a still-hypothetical vaccine. And so a refrain has caught on: We might have to stay home—until we have a vaccine. Close schools—until we have a vaccine. Wear masks—but only until we have a vaccine. During these months of misery, this mantra has offered a small glimmer of hope. Normal life is on the other side, and we just have to wait—until we have a vaccine. 

Source: Forbes
(updated August 19, 2021)

Kitt: Collaboration Is The Key To Creatively In A Post-Pandemic, Hybrid Working World
The future of physical offices is a hot topic in boardrooms all over the land.

Does Your Culture Have Know-It-Alls Or Learn-It-Alls?
Culture, it’s been said, eats strategy for lunch.  Why does one auto dealership perform much better than another when both sell the same cars, have access to the same lending resources, and can hire from the same labor pool?

Data Sharing in the COVID Era
Whether your organization’s goal is to delight customers or improve healthcare outcomes, one of the biggest challenges is finding the right data to answer your questions.

COVID-19 And Unemployment: The Robots Are Coming
Robots are going to help us return to normal business faster, but they are going to contribute to higher unemployment.

In the pandemic, everything digital is growing faster than it was before. Robotic solutions are digital solutions that will grow faster than before. Robots help us avoid close in-person interactions, they can make us more efficient, and they can be better than humans at many things.

Source: Visier
(updated February 8, 2021)

Workforce Planning in 2021: The Agility Muscle Continues to Flex
The muscle for agility that organizations needed in 2020 will continue to be crucial now and in the longer term.

Why Your Work Automation “Climate” Matters As Much As Upskilling
New research on workplace climate offers important insights for measuring, facilitating and enhancing successful work automation. John Boudreau and Benjamin Schneider share why workforce automation readiness requires more than just enhanced worker capabilities.