Virtual RoundTable “How COVID-19 is Reshaping Engagement & Culture”

July 30, 2020

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. Every business leader’s assumptions, strategic plans, and visions for their companies’ futures have been profoundly changed, and as the virus lingers, its impact will not only affect corporate culture it will possibly change it forever.

When COVID-19 hit, employee safety, stability, and security became the top priority. The pandemic has closed borders, restricted travel, made remote working the norm, and heightened the importance of efficient technology, communication, and collaboration. New norms and habits have been forged, however, is it too early to tell what the mid- and long-term changes to organisational culture will be. One thing that is inevitable, is that the way organisations work will never be the same.  

What must leaders do to best adjust and adapt now and, in the months, and years to come?

Speaking to many of our clients over the past 12 weeks, we noticed a commonality in pressure points and issues that had arisen due to the pandemic and the role that HR and HSE professionals were required to take in order to take care of their workforces, as well as identifying the changes that were needed to prepare for the now as well as the future.

Continuing our series of virtual roundtables, Roxane Sexton Manager Permanent Recruitment Sydney and Charlotte Grimmett Senior Consultant HR Interim & Contract Sydney were delighted to host a group of Heads of Talent & Organisational Development professionals from Financial & Professional Services industry sectors. The topic for the virtual roundtable was “How COVID-19 is Reshaping Engagement & Culture”.

From the conversation we compiled the following key takeaways:-

How are other firms adapting their approach to talent and developing talent during this time

While businesses may slowdown, shifting employee focus to upskilling could have a positive impact at two key levels. For employees, it would instill confidence and channelize their downtime in the right direction. It would also help organizations fix skill gaps and improve productivity when business recovers. The opportunity and challenge for HR leaders is to respond and move from a static to an agile planning approach, one that can continually reshape the workforce to incorporate changes in business and skill needs during the pandemic and beyond.

Impact on mental health – What are organisational leaders doing to address mental health during the pandemic

Business leaders around the globe are justifiably focused on the here and now of the COVID-19 pandemic, however as a result of global quarantines and a massive, sudden shift to working from home, an impending second-order mental health crisis is only just starting to emerge.

Managing EVP with the changing conditions during COVID-19

Employer branding / value proposition, an organisation’s reputation as an employer, can significantly affect the applicants a company attracts. It can also make a vast difference to employee job satisfaction and retention. Regardless of what a company’s EVP states on paper, how your company is acting during COVID-19 will be what defines what your employer brand really represents, to employees, future employees, customers, and the greater community.

Moving forward how we will define and create the cultural engagement piece?

A company’s actions in times of crisis can make or break employer culture. Maintaining employer culture takes work, especially in times of crisis. Feeling connected and engaged when forced into work-from-home scenarios, especially when some employees are new to remote working, can be difficult. Companies have been forced to change and redefine cultural engagement strategies during COVID-19.

Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace. What are people doing?

When it comes to workplace culture, there is a large gap between what leaders think is going on and what employees say is happening on the ground. Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand with workplace culture. When there is a high level of diversity and inclusion in a business the stronger the workplace culture is, and the more likely that all employees can and will advance and thrive.

If you are interested in being part of our conversation and/or would like to join one of our Virtual Round Tables or Webinars, please get in touch with one of the Frazer Jones team here.