To all of our HR friends,
You are on the frontline and are facing some critical decisions in the days and weeks ahead.
- Do you do layoffs or furloughs to help balance the downturn in revenues?
- How do you keep your stressed-out employees motivated and productive?
- How will your company navigate the transition from in-office to virtual work?
You have a lot of work ahead.
In these times, it's easy to underestimate the role a reliable HR function plays in helping adjust their organization on the fly for these unprecedented challenges. Over the last decade, I've seen that attitude changing, and it might even be accelerating due to the pandemic.
This week, The Economist wrote about the importance of chief people officers in times like these:
When the financial crisis rocked the business world in 2007-09, boardrooms turned to corporate finance chiefs. A good CFO could save a company; a bad one might bury it. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a different challenge—and highlights the role of another corporate function, often unfairly dismissed as soft. Never before have more firms needed a hard-headed HR boss.
The duties of chief people officers, as human-resources heads are sometimes called, look critical right now. They must keep employees healthy; maintain their morale; oversee a vast remote-working experiment; and, as firms retrench, consider whether, when, and how to lay workers off. Their in-trays are bulging.
HR Leaders like you will help your companies get through this crisis. there are going to be tough decisions ahead, but smart, strategic, and business-focused HR leadership will guide your firms through this storm.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.