April 2 COVID-19 Emergency Member Session Recap

April 6, 2020

COVID-19 Roundtable Discussion

Amid this unprecedented crisis, opportunities abound for HR leaders to rise to the occasion and support their businesses and people. As one member stated: “It really is amazing how our conversations (about everything, just everything) has changed in 30 days.”

Thank you to the members who participated in this Virtual Roundtable Discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic. We had participation from BP, Liberty Mutual, Dow, J&J, Prudential, Jaguar Land Rover, ENI, Comcast, Fortive, nVent, RELX Group, Dell, IBM, Pentair, Wolters Kluwer, Target, Amgen, AstraZeneca, TE Connectivity, and Schlumberger.

This recap is from April 2, 2020. Approaches discussed may have already changed in this fluid environment.


  • How are you doing? finding your tribe: A member shared that they start every meeting by asking “How are you doing?” They have a website for managers with tips on how to lead with empathy.  Employees send out daily doses of fun with ideas such as Spotify music playlists, cooking and nutrition tips, using Slack to find your tribe, etc.
  • Levering in-house resources: Another member regularly shares information from their internal wellness program on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual care. Tips include practical advice on taking energy breaks and virtual meeting best practices, as well as more robust mental and emotional health resources. They measure reaction through sentiment analysis and town hall feedback.
  • Additional time to volunteer: Another member has implemented a volunteer program for healthcare employees with 14 weeks of paid volunteer time. They are collecting sentiments and feedback continuously.
  • Wellness app memberships: Another member has given all employees a membership to the Headspace app to help with stress. Another has provided Wellbeats to all employees globally for medication, exercise and nutrition information.


  • Uncertainty: The uncertain future is making it difficult to decide what can be done with bonuses. Goals are no longer realistic but it remains “too early” for most companies reset the goals.
  • Not expecting annual bonuses: Several companies related that their people are not expecting bonuses—other needs are top of mind now.  Short-term sales incentives are more important.
  • No one is leaving: Companies do not expect employees to leave now because of the current environment. Everyone is reporting to work.
  • CARES Act: If you take money from the U.S. CARES Act, it does have impact on Executive Comp and will have some limits.
  • Global issues with pay cuts/increases: Many countries do not allow for pay cuts. Member companies are hoping that new legislation in countries like Brazil will offer relief and allow some reduction in pay where necessary. Legislation is evolving.  All pay increases are on hold.

Managing the Return to Work

  • More complicated than leaving: Managing the return to work is complicated because there are few rules or government guidelines, and no definitions for things such as what constitutes a ‘sanitized workplace.’ Companies are creating their own toolkits and frameworks.
  • Educate globally; empower locally: Bringing together HR leaders from across the globe helps ensure all are educated, but a member said that local leaders should be empowered to make decisions about brining workers back into sites. They must conduct their own risk assessments and make policies that make sense for where they are.
  • Pressure from governments: Governments have a vested interest to say that everything is back to normal. But companies may have to go against those statements to ensure the best for their employees.

Other Thoughts

  • Payroll can be run 100% from home
  • Organizations will be designed very differently after the crisis
  • Analytics are becoming even more central to decision making
  • Decisions made today will appear on Glassdoor tomorrow.

Thank You

Thank you to all who participated for your energy and enthusiasm! We will have more discussions and send out surveys and resources on specific topics concerning COVID-19.

If your team is dealing with similar issues or have questions you’d like answered please fill out the form below!

April 2 COVID-19 Emergency Member Session Recap

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