Editorial : Most Respected CEOs discuss minimizing COVID-19 impact in workplaces

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Yesterday, the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) held a webinar under the theme: ‘Managing an anxious work force during and post COVID-19’ with human resource experts and the overwhelming verdict was that open and honest communication is crucial.

Director of Human Resource, Vodafone Ghana, Hannah Ashiokai Akrong observed that the pandemic presents an opportunity for employers to demonstrate responsibility and compassion for their workers, particularly in the way they handle lay-offs, salary cuts, and other measures that affect their livelihoods or incomes.

Hannah Ashiokai Akrong pointed out that even at the point where you want to lay people off; one must be guided by the labour laws and ensure that you exit people with decency and communicate all their benefits to them.

Open communication and honest communication was also reiterated by another panelist, Roland Baah Teye, Associate Director, Consultant at Deloitte Ghana, who emphasized that employers ought to be open and honest with their staff, by letting them know the real situation of the company, so that any decision taken in the interest of the survival of the company, will be readily accepted by the employees.

Roland Baah Teye also stated the need for innovation and creative thinking so that the pandemic’s impact does not leave them irrelevant in the market or on the job. That is why migrating onto digital platforms has become the new norm for many enterprises and organisations so as to remain relevant and current.

Dr. Hazel Berrard Amuah, a human resource and leadership expert, stressed the importance of timely communication from the top level management, especially in such difficult times, as a lack of it will affect workers’ performance on the job.

The sensitivity of employer/worker relations becomes even more pronounced in circumstances like what the world of work is currently facing with the global pandemic; that is why the Trades Union Congress (TUC) impressed on government to provide a stimulus package to organisations so that at least, the workforce can be retained while they plan around maintaining the relevance of the organization in the market.

All in all, the breakfast webinar provided an opportunity for Human Resource Managers of key organisations to offer their experiences in these trying times, vis-à-vis upholding the labour law. Useful lessons were learnt and it is the hope of the B&FT that exercise proved to be a worthy one for businesses struggling with the devastating impact of COVID-19.

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