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First and foremost, the pandemic is a decidedly human tragedy. The fear and uncertainty that colleagues, clients, families and friends are dealing with is very real. While the focus of technology executives is to enable, support and advise our companies through this crisis, it’s important to recognize the needs of our people.

In this video, KPMG discusses three key people-focused areas that are enabled by the IT function – capacity, connection and capability. We also run through a checklist of questions to ensure you are considering what is essential to the core, what to do now, and what to do next as you stabilize your enterprise.

In addition, download the PDF for more insights on workforce, people and communications in the wake of COVID-19.

Full video also available on YouTube.

Video companion text

Staying connected during a pandemic

By Steve Bates, Global Leader, KPMG’s CIO Center of Excellence, KPMG International and Principal, KPMG in the US

People everywhere are worried. Worried with uncertainty, worried for their families, friends and colleagues.

The role of technology can help ease some of those concerns by helping people stay not only virtually connected, but, emotionally and mentally connected as well, in a time where it seems most challenging.

Technology can play a major role in helping IT executives help their enterprises stay connected in physically disconnected times, by means of Capacity, Connection and Capability. Let’s dig a bit deeper into what that means.

Capacity:

  • Is everyone accounted for and where do they work? Be sure to account for particular regions that may be more heavily impacted than others and take that opportunity to build that into your business resilience plan. 
  • Ensuring that your enterprise is ready for remote work is essential to being effective. Assess the capabilities of the organization and workforce and remember that not every worker is accustomed to working remotely and may need additional support. For additional information on this topic, check out our video on Remote Working.
  • This is an opportunity to evaluate and balance what and who is mission critical; that includes processes, systems and personnel.
  • Thinking about how, for many, this remote working environment will bring new challenges in the home. Consider flexible working hours and what would happen in the scenario where there is increased absences and decreased productivity. Being agile, flexible and technology-enabled will set your teams up for success in this ever-changing environment.

    For additional information on this topic, check out our video on Remote Working.

Connection:

  • Communication is crucial in times like this; it helps teams feel informed and connected. When communicating with your teams, it’s important to share what you know with an empathetic, problem solving filter. While your employees want to know as much as possible, it’s important to keep in mind the delivery of the information needs to be clear and concise, so as not to overwhelm, and always keeping the channels of communication open.
  • How are you keeping your employees’ work-life balance in check? Working remotely can quickly turn into working all the time with round the clock access. Now is the time to get creative and supportive with how you support your employees. Whether it is virtual physical activity challenges or video-conferences, being technology-enabled can make all the difference.

Capability:

  • Take the time to review employee backgrounds and prepare for employee performance projections. Working remotely could be an opportunity to identify and upskill resources with new opportunities. Recognizing potential prospects for employees will show investment in their futures in a time of uncertainty. 
  • In times like this, it’s important to have a succession and a retention plan. Prioritize and identify a pipeline of developmental candidates and give them some extra support.

With the considerations covered above, always keep in mind the human effect on all decisions made. While technology can be a great enabler and connector in a time of physical disconnection, taking the time to reach out personally, will likely have the biggest impact.

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