At the onset of 2020, prospects were bright for businesses we worked closely with, those we were just starting to get to know, and most certainly for Clarity as well. Even amidst news briefs of the novel coronavirus’ impact on China, we simply never could have prepared nor fully realized what was coming to the US. This resource guide is filled with materials that have helped us, and we hope will be helpful to you and your business during this time as you carve out your own “new normal”. With our HQ located at the current coronavirus (COVID-19) epicenter, our lives and the future of work are forever changed. We remain hopeful we will all bounce back in time, but we know we have a long road ahead.
Over the past three years in particular, the strides made by companies across the US to incorporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) education + programming into their business philosophies, in particular, have been vast. From the staffing and recruitment perspective, we can vouch for the fact that now, more than ever, companies representing values-based approaches to business and that express missions that are deeply rooted in these themes are not only most successful, but most sought after by top talent. We’ve emphasized content and resources in this department so we can all work together to mitigate the related negative impacts this crisis has brought on.
At Clarity, we’ve been staying home and bonding with one another over our shared grief for the loss of lives and simply life as we knew it, yet we’re working hard to imagine brighter days. That work ー imagining and planning for the futureーis arguably the hardest we’ve ever had to take on, especially given our nation’s current state of uncertainty. However, challenges are what we are here to solve for ー in hiring, in business at large, and beyond. This collection is designed for managers to guide their teams through this challenging state based on tools that are helping us right now. We’ve analyzed key topics that have come out of this pandemic experience and have provided tools within each. It’s time for us all to step beyond our imagination and begin planning for the future. While business won’t seem “normal” again for a long time ー and quite frankly will never be as we knew them before COVID-19ーwe do hope our network at large can work together to lift each other up and help each other get through this so we can continue to prosper and gather together again soon as possible.
Thanks for reading ー we’d love to hear what you think.
Clarity Communications Team
Once the exception for many, now the rule, here are some resources to help your newly remote Team hit their stride:
- Looking to facilitate effective and inclusive work while adapting to working at home? This article from Ready Set gives managers and leaders insight on how to set up workspaces, inclusive meetings, and keep office culture alive through a DEI lens: Distributed Work Tips & Tricks: an Equity and Inclusion Lens — Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Consulting
- For a deeper dive into remote working processes that consider both accessibility and inclusion, check out this ~24 minute webinar from the leadership team at Webinar – Inclusive Remote Working — Feminuity
- Tsedel Neeley, a Harvard Business School professor who has spent two decades helping companies learn how to manage dispersed teams, offers tips and tricks to help maintain productivity through this time of crisis: 15 Questions About Remote Work, Answered
- As so many of us transition to 100% virtual meetings, the New York Times put together a great list of Dos and Donts for virtual meetings that highlight how to work around limitations, set boundaries, and continue to have successful conversations: The Dos and Don’ts of Online Video Meetings
Confronting New Biases
It may feel like after many steps forward, it’s twice as many back for some DEI efforts. Now that we’re inundated with messaging from media that has fueled an onslaught of negative biases and xenophobic language, we have to take action to course correct negative sentiment. In particular, these biases are in regards to ethnic groups suspected for having propagated immense spread of the virus. Regardless of geographic origin, workplaces must work together with all employees to ensure these fear-induced thoughts don’t permeate their businesses. Confronting these fears is the first step.
What can we do to confront new found fears head on and alleviate concerns?
- If you’re seeking a better understanding of the landscape at large as these biases are being played out, NPR asked their listeners to reach out with firsthand accounts of coronavirus-related racism and xenophobia. They detailed some of the responses in this article and associated Code Switch podcast episode: When Coronavirus and Xenophobia Go Hand in Hand : Code Switch
- Ready Set also hosted a webinar with useful information on how to support yoour employees in dealing with the mental health and xenophobic implications of COVID-19. Here’s the link: Equity in the Wake of COVID-19
- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has put together steps that employers can take to mitigate and respond to the increase in biased behavior from an HR perspective that helps to reaffirm the dignity of those who typically are targets of harassment and discrimination: Coronavirus and Racism: Take Precautions to Fight Discrimination
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has also shared best practices to reduce the social stigma surrounding COVID-19 by providing fact-based information that we can all know and share to be better ally’s for those being directly affected: CDC Best Practices: Reducing Stigma
Job Loss, Hiring Freezes, and the Fear + Anxiety that go Hand in Hand:
We’re all grappling with this strange and difficult new reality and associated challenges. No one is wired to know exactly how to handle what’s going on, not to mention the difficult mental health implications, but here are some tools to help you get back on your feet if you’ve been negatively impacted by job loss, or want to help someone who has.
- If you’ve been directly affected by layoffs or furloughs due to COVID-19, and looking for a new job, submit your resume to Clarity, or reach out directly to our recruiting team. We’re also happy to be a resource for your Team members that have been negatively impacted. Navigate to active job openings right on our website or submit a general application here.
- The Muse has put together a no-nonsense resource providing best next steps and how to be agile in your job search during this challenging time: Laid Off Due to Coronavirus? What to Do Now
- As a part of the #GetHired series by LinkedIn, journalist Andrew Seaman, who runs the column, spoke with a psychologist and executive coach answered questions regarding mental health preservation while on the job search in this difficult and unusual time: Protecting your mental health while job seeking during this difficult time.
- We also liked what Seaman had to say in this recent piece ーWhat recruiters want you to know about job searching during the pandemic. A lot of his collected insights are spot on, particularly as they pertain to the value for jobseekers of building and tapping into your network immediately upon job loss. Proactively reaching out to new recruiters and other professionals during this time will not only set you up for future success, but may yield some insight into businesses that are actively hiring. Yes, there actually are many!
- For anyone who is experiencing stress and anxiety around their current or future job prospects, or for any other reason as we all learn to accept the realities of this “new normal”, the Anxiety and Depression Association (ADAA) has put together a webinar with expert tips and strategies from three of their members who focus on anxiety management: Managing Coronavirus Anxiety Part 3 – Expert Tips and Strategies
- The team at ADAA has also put together a resource of their own related videos, blogs, and resources to help individuals manage their COVID-19 anxieties: Coronavirus Anxiety – Helpful Expert Tips and
- Similarly, the CDC has put forward their own guidelines for processing stress and coping with fear and anxiety during this time. While understanding that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, the CDC has provided specific insight for parents, responders, and those in or recently out of quarantine: Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
What does the post COVID-19 workforce look like? How can you prepare yourself, your business and your Team today?
The future, and the fully formed “new normal” is still unwritten, but we’re thinking about the future with optimism and are fascinated by the possibilities of what’s to come. We’re imagining the physical workplace, and what office life will look like when we eventually return. We’re focused on learning the best paths forward for ourselves and those within our network, and here are a few actions we recommend you take now to ensure health of your business in the future.
- Craft a Pandemic Response Plan The CDC’s comprehensive guide is a great place to start. Access it here.
- Stay informed, and help where you can Watching, listening to and reading news can be overwhelming and disturbing once you’re too far down the rabbit hole. We recommend you try not to follow along every hour of the day and select specific check in times for yourself. However, there are other ways to stay informed and access tools that can be helpful to you and your team. Luckily, the folks at www.whileathome.org are here to help by providing up-to-date hotlines, medical support, donation opportunities, assistance with job searches and/or benefits eligibility, tips for parents and more.
- Upskill and Learn For anyone who has extra time on their hands, now is a great time to upskill. There are many e-learning outlets to pursue offering special deals and free resources. Whether you’re boosting your management skills or learning something entirely new you never got around to in school, here are some great options:
- Coursera – Free Courses
- Class Central is a search engine and resource to search for online learning opportunities. We love their list of free Ivy League courses available now ー check it out here.
- Udacity is even offering laid off workers scholarships on a variety of programming and courses to upskill during time away from work: Udacity Leads Effort to Upskill Laid-Off Workers With New Scholarship
- Optimize your Hiring Practice + Make Space for Remote Recruitment and Onboarding You probably could guess that this is where we come in! We’d love to speak with you about your hiring goals and help you work through challenges associated with hiring while teams are remote or working from home. Since we don’t know when many major metropolitan areas will be able to commute into offices and gather in groups again, if hiring is on your Q3 or Q4 agenda, let’s schedule a time to discuss how you can streamline that process today. Contact Colleen Robson for a free consultation, or to simply get advice on where to begin: email@example.com
Thank you for reading, we hope you found some valuable content within our guide. We’d also love to hear more about what’s helping you and your business cope. Send any contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well, stay safe, and let’s all keep humanity top of mind.