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New Research Identifies 10 Pandemic-Related Responses With Highest Business Impact

The Josh Bersin Academy, the world’s only global development academy for HR professionals, today announced the release of its newest research-based report, Business Resilience: The Global COVID-19 Pandemic Response Study. The 38-page complimentary report is based on a survey conducted in August 2020 of 1,349 HR leaders and professionals across the globe and all industry segments.

The survey was designed to analyze 53 practices encompassing areas such as leadership, culture and communication, learning and talent strategies, pay and benefits plans, remote work, workplace configurations, and HR skills and capabilities. Ten practices were found to have highest business impact in areas such as financial performance, customer satisfaction, workforce engagement and retention, and societal impact. They include the rapid adoption of technology, the effective use of contingent workforces, simplifying performance management, helping employees deal with ambiguity, and listening to employees while developing return-to-the-workplace strategies.

“Our research clearly shows that regardless of industry, geography, or company size, business resilience has three major aspects:  employee health and wellbeing, business agility, and job and workforce transformation,” said Josh Bersin, global industry and dean of the Josh Bersin Academy. “The ten practices identified in this study drive results above all others. Our goal in publishing this report is to provide actionable information that HR leaders can use to achieve greatest impact in continued uncertainty.”

With the support of Perceptyx, Bersin and his team found four stages of response, ranging from the implementation of purely tactical responses to those that lay the groundwork for business transformation. The stages break out as follows:

  • Stage 1, Hope for the Best: 18% of responses fell into this category, which is focused on financial survival, maintaining day-to-day operations, and actions related to employee furloughs or layoffs.
  • Stage 2, Care for the People: The largest percentage of responses (46%) were here, where organizations are focusing on keeping employees, customer, and suppliers safe from infection.
  • Stage 3, Drive Agility and Culture: 15% of responses are at this stage, where emphasis is on educating and supporting employees to move fast, develop cross-functional solutions, and stay resilient and productive.
  • Stage 4, Transform and Reinvent: 21% of companies fell into the highest stage, which focuses on the reinvention of hiring, job design, and pay to transform into new business and operating models.

The report includes detailed recommendations for companies to advance to higher response stages – helpful for those looking to benchmark their own practices and prioritize plans for coming months. The report also features case studies highlighting actions taken by Deutsche Telekom, Southwest Airlines, Norton Healthcare, and Reliance Industries to address pandemic-related challenges.

Read the full announcement and download Business Resilience: The Global COVID-19 Pandemic Response Study here.

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