The Post-Pandemic Corporate Agenda

May 17th, 2021

Blog Post by Dr. Donald C. Fisher

In February of 2020, the U.S. boasted a robust economy before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. with a global impact.  The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020.  According to in-Think Growth Agency, business was booming and many thought the U.S. economy was about to enter into a modern day, heady version of the Roaring Twenties (1920’s) that ended with the stock market crash of 1929 and  ultimately led to the Great Depression of the 1930’s.[1]

Over 100,000 businesses closed their doors because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.  Increased uncertainty, consumer worries, supply chain issues, and many social concerns, including the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and inclusion issues came together to put intensive pressure on many enterprises.[2]

A collaboration between the World Economic Forum and Mercer Global Advisors White Paper entitled Resetting the Future of Work Agenda:  Disruption and Renewal in a Post-COVID World [3] was released during October 2020.  The report presented the experiences and lessons learned from the COVID-19 response of  Chief Human Resources Officers (CHRO) of sixty leading global employers.

The White Paper noted that the COVID-19 pandemic will have profound long-term consequences for our economies and societies, including the future of work.   The White Paper further stated that as part of the great reset needed to support the transition to a fairer, more sustainable post-COVID world, companies have a responsibility, and a rare opportunity, to rethink their organizational and workplace structures to invest in their workforces as core drivers of long-term resilience and future success.  The White Paper identified five imperatives for resetting the future of work agenda.[4]  They include:

  1. Transform Organization Design and Work Design – Transition into a more simple and agile structure, moving away from traditional multi-layered organizations to “vertical restructuring”-eliminating functions and departments to streamline decision making.
  2. Cultivate Health and Well-being – Support employees with dedicated and targeted programs for physical, social, financial, and mental well-being.
  3. Align New Technology and Skills – Embrace the necessary integration of technology and skills to transform the workplace.
  4. Build Human-Centric Leadership Culture – Adopt a people-focused approach when connecting with workers.
  5. Embrace Stakeholder Capitalism – Create a socially responsible and sustainable ecosystem by ensuring equitable sharing of risks and rewards between employees and organizations.

This report was intended as a global call to action for companies and organizations to update and reset their future of work preparedness agendas for a more relevant and inclusive post-pandemic “new” future of work.

About My Manual entitled:  Corporate Pandemic Assessment: A Baldrige-based Organizational Self-Assessment to Ensure Corporate Sustainability

This manual can be used to conduct a comprehensive Corporate Pandemic Organizational Assessment based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework. These guidelines for developing, evaluating, or revising an existing Corporate Pandemic Plan and/or developing a new plan, can provide a unique perspective in identifying various vulnerabilities and opportunities regarding corporate workforce initiatives that exist within your overall corporate operations and infrastructure.

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