Don´t Spark Panic due to Pandemic

The following principles guide organizations in shaping a responsible course of action that balances short-term pressures against medium- to longer-term needs: 

  1. See this crisis as a defining leadership moment — and continue delivering the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders. Staying true to the purpose, values, principles and culture of an organization starts at the top. Effective leaders are transparent, empathetic and create trust, and their behaviors help to calm, support and even energize employees so that they feel vested in a common mission and purpose, and embrace new ways of working. 
  2. Adopt an agile and continuous learning mindset to ensure your response is (re-)calibrated to the circumstances at hand. The uncharted waters of this crisis demand agility and innovation, and adapting to rapidly changing systems and regulations. 
  3. Understand the perspectives of and engage all stakeholders (e.g., employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, unions, healthcare providers, community) in decision making. Keep a pulse on the shifting needs and priorities of all stakeholders and the evolving state of competitive and innovative practices. 
  4. Focus on the intersection of employee and company wellbeing. The cost pressure of the current revenue-challenged environment places significant stress on leaders to meet the needs of shareholders at a time when the wellbeing of employees, particularly the most vulnerable, is being seriously threatened. But the risks to – and benefits of – employee wellbeing and company wellbeing are highly aligned. 
  5. Make decisions and take actions that take into account medium-term needs and longer term business objectives. Decision-making in this rapidly shifting and uncertain environment requires organizations to resist the pressure to engage in short-term actions that seem essential in the chaos of the current environment but may compromise the longer-term sustainability of the business. 

These guiding principles are a preliminary response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. They are intended to serve as a tool for Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) and other business leaders. While businesses may need to adjust measures according to different policy environments, the concept of stakeholder capitalism can provide a framework for a responsible course of action at this pivotal moment (World Economic Forum / Willis Towers Watson).

 

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