All organizations are thinking about their next move as the uncertainty of COVID-19 creeps across the globe. We talked to LER alumnus Eugene Chen, MHRIR 11, and HRBP for Amazon Web Services in Taiwan to see what HR professionals near "ground zero" for the virus are doing to work with this uncertain situation.
"As the HR leader for AWS Taiwan, managing the COVID-19 crisis is like planning a wedding event. Your end goal is clear - to entertain your guests with a quality venue, coordinating with the bands, MCs, chefs,...etc. In this case the end goal is to keep the office environment and employees safe, coordinating with multiple functional teams such as Employee Health and Safety (EHS), Corporate Security, Global Real Estate and Facility (GREF), Public Relations (PR), and Employment Legal.
Office measurements such as full site sanitization, process guideline such as Work From Home (WFH) announcements, or procurement strategies such as mask inventory are all results of the aforementioned functional team's efforts. HR's role is to ensure smooth communication (frequency, platform, topics,...etc), to create an effective decision making processes, and provide a clear channel for escalation.
We cannot be more careful in handing situation like this and this is exactly the time that HR can really add value to each of our organizaitons. After all, things get slowed down when there is no clear ownership of processes, or when 'too many cooks are in the kitchen.'
From the personal side, I'm constantly worried about not doing enough or things that the team may overlook. Checking government announcements has becoming a daily routine that I use to start each morning. All efforts are worth spending as our office environment and employee's safety are our top priority."
We'd like to thank Eugene for these insights, and wish him well with his proactive planning and response for AWS's employees in Taiwain. We'll be sure to check back in.