EMA Partners International has conducted a global survey in 25 countries across the world, addressed to senior decision-makers in a wide range of industries. The survey was designed to better understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on their organizations. An analysis of the results reveals:
- All companies report that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their business and they are consequently reviewing their KPIs for 2020. Employee wellbeing and safety is a priority for all companies, and they are investing significantly in this area.
- Reduced mobility and the protection of employees’ physical safety is the primary goal. Executives are in the main satisfied with the action taken by their organisations, saying that the response has been quick and efficient.
- Remote work has been imposed in most countries but is perceived positively by top management. Employees, however, report that it is difficult to balance work responsibilities with family obligations, especially when one has children at home.
- The top HR priorities are maintaining efficiency, ensuring the mental health and well-being of employees and improving employee engagement. There is a global trend to implement a hiring freeze: approximately half of the respondents plan to lay off employees. However, most organisations are not considering pay cuts, at least in the medium term.
- Acquiring talent continues to be a big challenge, largely because executives are not very open to change. They tend to look for stability and reject new projects, especially those that are not yet fully developed.
- The competence most required in these difficult times is the ability to engage and lead people by helping them to become self-aware and to grow and develop while maintaining a confident and positive attitude. Other important competencies reported are: strategic thinking, managing ambiguity, resilience.
- In addition, the survey shows that to be effective, leaders must have an optimistic vision of the future.