10 practices to drive business outcomes in your COVID response

In a wide-ranging research report released last week, the Josh Bersin Academy identified 10 best practices that will help organizations not just survive but thrive, through the business transformations necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The report, Business Resilience: The Global COVID-19 Pandemic Response Study, surveyed more than 1,300 HR and business leaders about 53 of the organizational and business practices they have undertaken in the last few months to respond to the pandemic. In partnership with Perceptyx, researchers analyzed the data and compared it to seven business outcomes to identify the practices that today’s HR leaders should focus on for lasting success.

The 10 most important practices identified in the research are:

  • Focus support on employee health and safety
  • Aggressively listen to the workforce to define return-to-the-workplace plans
  • Create integrated support for families and the entire worker’s life
  • Reinforce and invigorate focus on purpose and mission
  • Communicate and support agile teams to deal with ambiguity
  • Quickly adopt technology to develop new products and services
  • Rapidly, creatively and strategically hire new, needed talent
  • Leverage contingent and part-time workers
  • Facilitate and support teams to experiment and learn quickly
  • Simplify and speed up performance management

All of these practices were linked to better financial performance, customer satisfaction, workforce engagement and retention, and societal impact.  They are also rooted in an understanding that a stronger culture can lay the foundation for lasting business success.

See also: Meet the HR Tech keynote speakers: Josh Bersin

“If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that culture and values are more important than anything,” Bersin says. “When we ask people to work more hours, take on jobs they’ve never done before and trust us to make the workplace safe–there has to be a culture of safety, trust and shared mission in place.”

Culture comes from the top, Bersin adds, and must be reinforced at all levels and throughout the organization.

As HR leaders shift their focus to these 10 practices, they should also embed evolving technologies into their approaches. Technology, Bersin notes, has become the facilitator of change.

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“We now use technology like a Swiss Army knife: It can bring people together, train employees as needed, onboard new hires remotely, and quickly survey and support employees,” he says. “High-performing companies were able to use existing HR tools to create new solutions for pandemic-related communications, leadership development and other job transformation they needed.”

During his keynote address next week at the HR Technology Conference, Bersin will explore new HR technology solutions that have emerged in the wake of the pandemic. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].