Summary: As we’ve come to recognize that this crisis will last more than a few short weeks, companies are now defining their approach for the long haul.
Original author and publication date: Hubert Joly – May 8, 2020
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Acknowledging that the crisis will last longer than expected means acknowledging the future is no longer a continuation from the past.
From the article:
During the Covid-19 crisis, I’ve spoken with many CEOs who have shared that a key priority for them, naturally, has been the safety and well-being of their employees. And there are many examples of inspiring actions taken by CEOs and companies in support of their employees. But as we’ve come to recognize that this crisis will last more than a few short weeks, companies are now defining their approach for the long haul.
I’ve seen two crucial ideas take hold with corporate leaders.
One: Given the magnitude of the shock and the challenges that this crisis represents, companies must consider the full breadth of their employees’ needs as people. Safety is essential, of course, but it’s also important to address higher-level needs such as the want for truth, stability, authentic connections, self-esteem, growth, and meaning in the context of the crisis.
Two: Many CEOs have begun thinking about this crisis in three phases. They may assign different names or specific lengths to these phases, but they all roughly map to three distinct time horizons: the shelter-in-place phase, the re-opening phase, and the post Covid-19 phase.
When these two ideas are combined, leaders can operate and lead more effectively by dynamically adjusting how they take care of their employees through the unique challenges of each phase. What follows is a discussion of how companies are and could be addressing workers’ needs in each phase.
Human Needs in the Shelter-in-Place Phase
During this first phase, companies have sought to ensure their workers’ physical safety. They’ve implemented work from home measures and sanitized work areas in cases where work is essential, and shifted operating models — adopting contactless delivery, for example.
Beyond safety, they’re working to ensure security as well. Many have worked to keep people on the payroll for as long as possible — even if that required furloughs — and increased pay for front-line workers. Some have established employee relief funds to address urgent needs. At some companies, senior executives and board of directors took pay cuts; many have provided back-up childcare solutions and fronted their workers time off to take care of loved ones.