Bright Ampadu Okyere’s thoughts … Few pointers as the world head towards COVID-19 global recession amidst SDGs attainment

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Bright Ampadu Okyere is a SDG Advocate and Lead Partner SDG Alliance Ghana

Lay Off, Pay Cut and Employee Expectation

The promotion and attainment of the SDGs will greatly be impacted negatively due to the unexpected Corona Virus. Almost all the SDGs will be hit by the recession but (SDG3) Good Health and Well-Being and (SDG8) Decent Work and Economic Growth will be worse affected.

A lot of unplanned and unbudgeted cost has been incurred by governments of the world. The decade of Action as was expected to fast tract the SDGs agenda may have to be re-looked at and a new and realistic deadline agreed upon.

Nonetheless, as the world battles the virus and its impact on lives and the economy, there are a few pointers that everyone can focus on. This will offer some relieve to citizens of the world as we manage the expectation.

  • It’s not about you; not the least, it’s about current global happenings. Businesses all over the world are being hurt badly by COVID-19 even in countries with no cases of infection. Getting laid off or suffering a pay cut has nothing to do with your abilities, capabilities, talent or hard work. It’s hard not to take it personally but it truly could have been anyone; especially when no Business Continuity Plan could forecast such a disaster.
  • You are still the same vibrant, highly skilled, highly desirable person you were before you got affected by the recession. However, there is a lot of time on our hands now, use it to sharpen your soft skills and learn something new. Thanks to technology there are many online certificate programs that has required and needed jobs for the future, interestingly the fees are minimal.
  • Getting laid off is a difficult thing to comprehend. It’s hard on your bank balance, your purchasing power, your self-esteem and your daily routine. Taking care of yourself is job number one. This could be devastating when you have other dependents and little or no preparation was done.
  • Spend as much time as possible (it could be virtual time) with people who lift you up. Spend as little time as possible with people who bring you down. This could be the moment you can discover yourself and your God given talent. Most people have been consumed with corporate life and have paid no attention to their inner calling. This could be a blessing in disguise.
  • You need a new job – It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to put your CV in hand scouting for a new job. That could be an option since you may have built enough experience and network over the years. It could also be an opportunity to be the new employer and business owner. Even when you secure a new job, this could be the time to consider multiple sources of income, remember this misfortune could happen again. The surest way to increasing your wealth is finding solutions to problems. There are senior colleagues who have suffered something similar or found themselves in situations like this in time past. Let’s learn the bitter lessons once and for all.
  • It doesn’t matter if it’s not a fancy job or the same job you had before. There’s a worldwide crisis going on. Many people have made huge moneys from COVID-19 through the sale of sanitizers, nose mask and other general PPEs. No one will judge you if you take a job just to have an income. There is no bad job if its genuine and putting food on the table. If somebody would judge you for that, you don’t need them as a friend anyway. Bad influence cut them off.
  • Employers should also be mindful of the loyalty expressed by their employees over the years. Employees have contributed immensely in making the organization what it is today. Organizations should hasten slowly in their decision making concerning their employees. Is it all about business entities declaring huge profits, send same to their group offices and getting listed on the league of best companies? One of their best contribution towards the fight against COVID-19 is to try and keep the jobs of their employees as we all figure a way out to deal with this pandemic sooner than we all expect. Remember, human asset is the most important of all the resources needed for high productive culture. How you treat your workers will be remembered when the dust settles even for those who will not be affected by any lay off or pay cut.

As the world seeks to bring life back to normal, organizations are still expected to keep their eyes on the promotion and attainment of the SDGs. The new normal must also include policies and decisions that will advance the cause of the SDGs.

A portion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities must be geared towards enhancing an SDG, considering the needs of the communities within which organizations operate. The little CSR and other social interventions are all that is needed in the quest to attain the SDGs. To achieve it globally is to contribute the little we can at all the various levels of human engagement and interaction.

>>>The writer is a  Human Resources Consultant and (an SDGs Advocate)

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