Human capital: critical for business?
HR in corona times: Acting out of fear or courage?
Human capital is in the top 3 priority list of CEOs and HR leaders. Research from Gartner and McKinsey, amongst others, has shown this trend in recent years. However, a crisis situation such as the COVID-19 can turn everything upside down. Budgets are under so much pressure that human capital may not be able to stay afloat either. An expensive mistake or missed opportunity? This can be read in an article we published on the website of HR Tech Outlook.
To ‘challenge employees to be “more”’, to ‘demonstrate how they will grow personally by developing in-demand skills’ and to ‘connect employees to skill-building opportunities beyond their roles’ are among the Top 5 Priority for HR Leaders according to Gartner. McKinsey's research and reports confirm this picture: ‘CEOs can turn their attention to the two most critical aspects of leading a people-first company: finding, recruiting, developing, and deploying key talent; and ensuring that talent is truly integral to every major strategic decision across the organization.’ Human capital is critical for business.
In times of economic downturn or adversity, like in the current coronavirus crisis, companies instinctively turn to cutting costs. They always do this on the basis of an assessment which is "business critical", discarding projects until only the legally required and financial projects remain. This should guarantee the continuity in the fog of possible costs yet to come. And yet, aren’t people also part of the business critical? Is to stop supporting their growth the right solution here? The typical argument is that it’s too expensive. We believe that it does not directly cost money: it does in terms of absenteeism and loss of productivity.
Rising stress levels
Concerns about the mental resilience of homeworkers is on the increase. A recent study by SAP, Qualtrics and Mind Share Partners states that ‘over 40% of people said their mental health has declined since the COVID-19 outbreak. The number of people who describe the stage of their mental health as a 3 or less on a 10-point scale has doubled.’
Recent research by the National Centre for Prevention of Stress and Burnout (NCPSB) in The Netherlands shows an average increase in stress levels of almost 40 percent . ‘With a structural increase of 40 %, you are three to six months away from burnout,' says NCPSB chairman Theo Immers. He warns of potential large-scale loss of working hours due to stress and burnout. ‘That usually happens very unexpectedly’, he says. ‘People who drop out due to stress and burnout do not see that coming.’ In short: loss of production and also the risk of burnout.
Support oriented coaching
Our advice? Don't see support-oriented coaching as a "perk" or a cost, but instead as a way to reduce productivity loss as well as sickness and other staff-related costs. Every sector, in some way or the other, has been hit by the coronavirus crisis. In addition to the fact that it is (unintentionally) a time for reflection and rest, you also want your business operations to continue. And human capital is the basis from which you work.
HR Tech Outlook
The complete article has been published on HR Tech Outlook's website.
 Two measurements have been taken for the research. The first measurement took place shortly before the corona crisis among a group of 684 professionals who are vocational educated or academically trained. A second measurement was taken among an equal subgroup of 198 people.