55% of multinational HR Directors believe that the Greater Sydney lockdown will most likely last up to two additional months (i.e. all of August and September), and 58% believe the Melbourne lockdown will last up to all of August.
The top ten topics on multinational HRDs minds right now are:
- How do we manage employee experience in a lockdown/restricted environment?
- What new skills are required for success in a world with COVID and hybrid working?
- How can we best support employees with homeschooling pressures?
- How to reduce the risk of HR leader burnout given the additional reliance on them to keep everyone else going and make business critical decisions in uncharted territory?
- How can Sydney leaders learn from the experience of Melbourne leaders?
- How do we get real about the mirage of work returning to normal with our people?
- What can be done to ensure employees feel safe to return to work?
- How do we manage the imbalance across the country with different states and regions having differing restrictions?
- What are some strategies to help global HQ understand our local policy settings re ‘elimination’ are fundamentally different to theirs?
- How can we attract and retain talent when everyone is working from home restricting job opportunities and mobility?
Some solutions offered included:
- Ramping up the focus on location leads as a way to manage the variant conditions across Australia and New Zealand, i.e. one size by no means fits all.
- To manage productivity, greater clarity on essential goals is key coupled with clear parameters about when people are ‘working’ or not and to provide clear guilt free breaks during the day.
- Allocating additional leave for parents to use as they see fit. One multinational has offered carers leave up to 5 days if you have kids under the age of 8. Another organisation has provided 20 days extra leave and parents are able distribute across days as they see fit, for example finishing earlier.
- Role modelling and affirming to your people that they should prioritise family. Leave meetings as needed, create the license to focus on what matters most.
- Don’t assume, keep reinforcing. You assume that people know to take charge of their time to support their mental health but you need to say it over and over. Keep reinforcing that they can do whatever they need to do to take care of themselves.
- Taking care of yourself first. Personal strategies for wellbeing in lockdown included walking everyday, stretching between meetings, walking phone calls, morning meditation, 30 mins of yoga, crocheting, puzzles, daily runs.
We finished the discussion by asking the HRDs based in Melbourne if they had any lockdown tips to share with Sydney peers. There was a communal agreement that focusing on small informal rituals, gatherings and activities was priority to maintain team morale and wellbeing.
Tenfold Australia is a community for the local leaders of global companies. Over the last month we have been speaking with CEOs and HRDs about the lockdown to better understand their concerns, predictions about how long the lockdowns will last, and tactics for keeping their organisations both well and productive during this time. These are some of the key findings from these discussions.