Could the Coronavirus Cloud Have a Silver Lining?

It is said that every cloud has a silver lining.  It may be hard to find right now in the Coronavirus cloud, but new opportunities arise in all crises.

Perhaps this pandemic will help organizations around the world to further value the importance of digital transformation of processes, investment in training their leaders and bringing new skills to their workforce, in pursuit of strategic management of the organizational culture.  In short, work for the common good.

In only a few days, companies and economies were significantly impacted by the speed of evolution of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its consequences in society.

For Human Resources areas, crisis management involves a great challenge, not only because it directly affects all areas of a company, but also because it tests the fundamental efficiency of an organization — leadership, resilience, trust, communication and the ability to adapt.

Many companies adopted measures aimed at reinforcing hygiene and coexistence practices, but the greatest impact in the current situation was the suspension of travel. This led to the implementation of remote working models in organizations where the policies were probably not developed or were not sufficient to meet the crisis. In this context, those responsible for Human Resources have to act as facilitators so that the business can continue, regardless of the circumstances.

In the first place, it is key that they have the necessary tools and processes that allow rapid learning of work and remote leadership for people who never worked this way, generating virtual training spaces for leaders and collaborators.

Secondly, they must manage information continuously through effective, impactful channels that reach all collaborators with the necessary speed (email, intranet, webinar, posters, etc.).

Communications should include

  • issues that raise awareness of the need to be responsible for oneself and others,
  • measures to take to avoid spreading the virus
  • actions to prevent the spread, especially to avoid making mistakes that later have much higher costs for the person and the organization . It is important to be flexible, adapt and change without fear depending on the situation.

Likewise, it is essential that Human Resources reach out to employees stranded in other countries, providing everything necessary so that they feel cared for by the organization.  HR should  instruct the leaders of these people so that they can follow up with these people.

Containment also requires giving reliable and direct support to workers in particularly challenging circumstances.  Take the case of companies based on the digital economy model or GIG economy such as Uber, Rappi, Globo, whose workforce may experience more complications and uncertainty.

Will they stop working and go into quarantine if appropriate?  Or will they continue to do their work to avoid losing income? This is a time to show empathy and compassion not only as Human Resources leaders but also as an organization. The main theme of communications must make their involvement go a long way in showing that the organization really cares.

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