How HR Should Face Covid-19 Variant B.1.1.529

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Black Friday has been known as a great chance for consumers to stock up for great deals during the Thanksgiving Period. However, there is a new alarm and dampener for 2021's edition of Black Friday; There is a new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 which has its origin from South Africa and may start spreading.

Its timing cannot be at a worst time where there is an increased desire to reach a certain level of normalcy, especially in global business. To compound the complex situation, there are many countries that have not started vaccinating their young for the original Covid-19.

What can Corporate HR do to face the possible mutations of future variants that may directly affect the workplace?

Here are some tips:

Be Informed

The state of being informed by reliable and scientific information cannot be overstated. HR team must have an agreed source of receiving medical information after discussing with the organisation's top leadership.

Transparent Communication

With this process of decision-making, there must be a transparent communication system with various stakeholders, especially employees. This includes all measures taken to protect customers and employees from getting Covid or future viruses.


This will be the most difficult procedure as there are different types of vaccination with some employees not wanting to be vaccinated for various reasons for various legitimate reasons. These employees may be key members of the organisation and the company may want to retain their expertise but yet not create a culture of unease with their peers. Covid has the danger of weakening the strong corporate culture and bonds that have been carefully developed through the years.


With more people having been vaccinated against Covid-19 and air travel just picking up, HR must decide if corporate travel is still relevant until the new variants have been effectively controlled. This means that there may be a partial return to working from home and telecommuting.


Many employees have been rather fearful that their companies may not recognise their efforts when they are constantly working from home. This is fear is mostly unfounded but is still rather prevalent, even within the Gen Y community.

It is imperative that HR be able to reiterate and communicate that all companies around the world are facing a new normal or the “Covid Generation” and KPI must be flexible and fair. Perhaps, external management consultants must be


Since March 2020 when Covid-19 faced appeared, workers have been inundated with constant changes from wearing masks to zoom-conferencing. These changes were expected in short notice and it is not a surprise that people miss human interaction with their peers. Thus HR has to create innovative motivation activities that can be done without physical interaction. This is to ensure that all employees are mentally in the best frame of mind to go through their work in the best of spirits.

Possible Inflation Fears

There have been global inflation fears caused by supply and logistical crunch caused by the world economy opening up. Thus, the increase in the cost of living will further add more stress and anxiety to workers who may also take up more after working hours contract work to further increase their disposable income.

It is to the benefit of all companies to have an open-door policy of providing professional counselling in the area of money-management and practical investment. Some larger companies may even pay for the basic education of their long-term employees as goodwill and appreciation for their service. This will go a very long way in assuring all employees that the company recognises them and together, they can go through any external calamities with positive outcomes.

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