This crisis can be an opportunity for HR Directors to give more space and weight to “H” as Humanity

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First, there are all the employees who make it their duty to ensure their activity, even with fear in their stomachs. The fear of getting sick, the fear of infecting their loved ones. Employees are very often “forgotten” because their job seems so secondary at a time of intellectual services. Thanks to this crisis, their role has regained its full meaning. How will they be considered afterwards? Will they once again be workers in the shadows?

The current crisis is causing heckling among staff in companies

Then, there are all the employees who juggle the constraints of home schooling, of cohabitation with a spouse who has his or her own business, and those of telework deployed on a forced march. They mobilize without counting their hours, experimenting with autonomy, agile decision-making circuits, and meetings which tend to last less time. Thanks to this crisis, they are empowered. How will they be recognized professionally afterwards? How will they be managed? How will mutual aid and collective action continue to manifest themselves?

And, there are all the employees who have been deprived of activity for long weeks, worried about getting their jobs back. Some of them are in fact at risk of finding themselves without a job. Others will have to recover their place in a team, work with customers… How will they flourish under new conditions?

HR directors can take advantage of this time to prepare a return to companies that take care of the well-being of their employees

It is unlikely that anyone will emerge psychologically unscathed from the health (and economic) crisis and the period of containment it imposes. A variety of strong emotions will manifest themselves, explicitly or implicitly. They will have a definite impact on relationships. Managerial habits will be challenged.

The agility that prevails in emergency situations is a precious resource. The empowerment and autonomy expressed in telework are vectors of commitment. The ability to decide in uncertainty, allowing for mistakes, is a motivating factor. The solicitation of collective intelligence, the audacity to invent new products/processes are levers of innovation…

And yet some managers indulge in slow decision-making that makes them feel like they exist. Other managers still feel an almost visceral need to control everything, seeking reassurance. Still others show a level of demand, of sclerosing perfectionism.

It is possible, during these few weeks, to set up support systems

Rethink the system of objectives and remuneration… to focus on management style and expected results. Review the training plan… to adapt the contents to the new world. Rely on relationship professionals to listen, welcome, recognize the right to be human… to best accompany the expression of emotions and limit the risks on relationships and quality of life at work. Use professional coaches in individual and collective approaches… to best accompany the expected change in managers’ behavior.

It is crucial to anticipate the return to what, in the same place, will no longer be the same in order to limit psycho-social risks.


  • Viviane Strickfaden - CEO - France

    Founder of 2 consulting and coaching firms; professional background in major international consulting firms. Specialist of management and innovative change. Expert in transformation projects with high profitability. Seasoned experience in designing and developing a new business unit. View her short bio