COVID-19 Impact on the Work-Life: Directives for HR Leaders


In the times of the crisis, CHROs within the organizations play a similar part as to what field commanders in a war do. Some events get registered in our collective memory so strong that not just one generation but multiple generations that bear the consequences of it, remember it throughout their lives. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is one such happening of the 21st century that will be remembered as a unique situation that originated at the end of the year 2019.

Fear of Layoffs Among the Workforce Across Industries: Role of CHROs

Employee anxiety has skyrocketed in the past couple of months amid the fears of layoffs in the times of economic downturn. CHROs and hr leaders have a big responsibility at their hand to show empathy towards the fearful employees and get the work done effectively.

However, truth needs to be told to the workforce, but in a manner that is respectful towards them. Recently, Taylor – President & CEO (SHRM) expressed his thoughts on the layoff fears amid the coronavirus pandemic. He recalled his recent conversation with the CHRO of a Fortune 500 organization who bluntly put out the fact before him by saying that they will have to let go of 10% of their employees permanently.

Workforce Layoff Estimates

The job-loss statistics that will get released by BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) in the times to come might report the number of job losses because of the virus outbreak to be the highest till date in the U.S. Estimates say that about 5 million individuals will get laid off outright, or will be put on unpaid furlough for an indefinite period.

The official data regarding unemployment rate in the US as of Feb 2020 was 3.5%. However, the future estimates say that the same will climb to a whopping 20% in the near future which would be devastating from the viewpoint of workforce across industries.

Workforce Troubles to Further Multiply: How HR Leaders Can Cope With the Same

Even the most optimistic estimates about the impact of the epidemic on the workforce redundancy say that the troubles are supposed to arrive that cannot be overlooked or avoided. The industries worst affected by the ongoing crisis comprise airline, restaurants, and sports. At least a few months from now on, the conditions will worsen even more.

HR leadership will need to take the brunt of the worsening situation in the testing times. All eyes are already staring hr leaders to help control the panic among the employees and provide for the much-needed motivation that can sail individuals through adverse times. Moreover, the role of hr tech will be crucial in the fight against the virus as the advanced IT technologies can prove to be the vital catalysts to information and data-sharing among the workforce spread over different parts of the world.

CHROs Need to Invest in Innovations in Remote Working

Utilizing hr technology to its fullest to optimize remote working experience for workers must be the primary responsibility of every CHRO across industries and corporations. As the virus spreads at an unprecedented rate, remote working will quickly become a new norm.

The most relevant question that arises with the immediate implementation of remote-working across the country is that how will the corporations and the concerned CHROs will cope with the sudden change? The answer is training of employees and leveraging human resource technology to its optimum capacity.

Closing Thoughts

I would love to end the article by stating a quote of Paulo Coelho, the renowned Brazilian novelist:

“When we are not ready for it, life throws the biggest challenges before us to test our willingness and courage to change, at this moment, it’s irrational to pretend that nothing has happened, or to say that I am not ready at the moment. The challenges will always come unexpectedly. Life never looks back.”

Alen Parker
Alen Parker is a critically-acclaimed writer who has generated a wide range of content during his professional career. His industry-wide experience into writing for different niches is certainly an admirable aspect that empowers him to create enriching, informative write-ups.

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