Learning from the Covid-19 crisis

Let’s resist trying to recreate what we used to have. 

Those working within HR have had to respond rapidly in tough times.  Within it has been good to observe some positives that we can choose to take forward.

What have we noticed?

Working within HR I have always believed that people are central to successful organisations.

In recent weeks we have seen this clearly demonstrated. Those working within HR have responded rapidly to challenges faced by organisations – whether increased demand or sudden closure, or anywhere in between.

It is apparent that we have fast forwarded many things in relation to how we work. Not all will be sustainable in the longer term, not all will be successful, but enough has happened to make it important that future planning resists being in relation to returning to ‘normal’. Some of the learning from the present includes

Change can happen fast

Change can be a slow, procedure driven process, but it doesn’t need to be. If we work collaboratively with meaning and purpose, coming from the perspective of ‘how can we make this happen’, not ‘what are the problems and obstacles’, we will find solutions.By working together change happens with people, not too them, increasing the likelihood of success through input, innovation and the motivation to make it happen. How can we continue delivering appropriate change at pace and keep people central, whilst ensuring all the necessary elements are also covered?

Supporting employee wellbeing is not optional

If people are not well, they can’t do their best work. Supporting them is the right thing to do as well as having a strong business case.  We need to support all aspects of wellbeing – physical, mental, emotional, social and financial, to enable people to stay well and be able to perform at work.  Mental health has been brought into sharp focus with the additional challenges faced at present of supporting remote employees, keeping connected with those furloughed, the concerns of social isolation, and for some the need to juggle work with children and other caring responsibilities.  This links to discussions about work life balance and integrating different elements of life with it being acceptable to be open about the challenge of managing the different demands.

Leadership comes in many forms

The creativity that people have demonstrated in so many ways to continue to provide services, to support doing key roles, or to generate connection between people isolated at home, has been inspiring.  Many people showing great leadership skills, working or volunteering in roles not traditionally regarded as leadership.  How can encourage people to continue demonstrating these behaviours once past this crisis?  Another element is the approach of compassionate leadership, leading with empathy, intelligence and understanding.  It was a phrase rarely heard prior to the pandemic but something I hope we will hear more of in the future.

We need to ensure we take forward the positive things discovered in these very emotionally and practically difficult and challenging times and include them in whatever shape the models of work and working become in the future.

Contact us for details

Protea Solutions offers coaching for those in HR – whether related to career, personal develop, leadership or strategic coaching. Contact us for more info.


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