As we are fighting Covid-19 around the world with resilience. It is clear that we are living a humanitarian crisis never experienced before. We all have many questions but very few answers. How long will this last? What will the short, mid and long-term economic impact be? Is this going to lead to a recession, or will it merely be a disruption? Truth is, we don’t know for sure.

First measures of resilience !


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What we do know is that this situation will have a financial impact on all companies. Thankfully, some are thriving because of the turn of events but on the other hand,  many companies have already seen their revenue drop. Quick measures need to be taken to ensure the financial health of those companies. The first phase of financial measures include cutting one-off costs, delaying long term costs and reducing variable expenses. These measures help soften the blow of a short-term revenue decline.


Cost cutting with in-year impact !


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The longer this crisis lasts, the deeper we need to dig to balance the revenue decline with cost savings. As 60 % of costs for most companies are labor costs, this is where the savings will be sought. Reviewing the managers span of control, closing non-core business units and targeted headcount reductions will generate savings  in this calendar year.

When companies deploy these inevitable tactics, an emphatic human resources approach is crucial.

How not to make the situation worse with resilience ?


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This is a difficult time for most employees. Home working, home schooling, reduced working hours, concerns for their health and for the health of their loved ones… employees are already going through a lot. Adding the possibility of losing their job or at least a cut in their income, is hugely upsetting. So how do you manage a workforce in a time like these? Here are several tips.

1 — Communicate quickly and openly !


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While we have a tendency to think that we can only communicate once we have a full plan in place, the opposite is true. Employees will quickly understand and see the negatives this crisis has on the companies’ revenue stream. So, as a management team, you need to communicate clearly and transparently even if you do not have all the answers yet. Inform the employees about how this situation is impacting the company. Give a realistic picture. Tell the employees about the process of analyses you are going through. Reassure them that you care about them and be transparent about what you will communicate and when. Keep them informed, tell them what you know and what you don’t know.

2 — Listen to your employees by creating a check in program !

At a time of disruption, everybody has their own concerns and worries. As a company, this is a time to show that you care. I strongly recommend that as a management team, you create a plan for every leader and every manager to take half an hour a day to call people in the organization and listen to them. Not just the people in your team, people in all parts of the organization. The effort of picking up the phone and calling your employees will be worth more than any other measure you can take. 

3 — Remind your employees about the long-term vision and mission of the company !


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As hard as times may be at present, engagement comes from having a common purpose. As a leader, whether you are the CEO or the team manager, you need to keep your long-term objectives alive during a time like this.  You need to inspire and motivate your employees. Remind the employees why you exist as a company or as a team, what you are trying to achieve and how the employees contribute to that. 


Fight with resilience !


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As the world is fighting this virus, we all do the best we can to get through this period. Companies who keep their employees engaged and motivated will recover better and faster. Take care of each other, communicate openly and honestly. And stay focused on the long-term mission of the company.   



#resilience #performancemanagement #virtualteams #crisismanagement #leadership #leaderkeys #stayhome

Your international HR consultant !

Madelien worked in the financial services industry as a Human Resources Director for the EMEA region – Europe, Middle East & Africa – for 13 years. During this time, she served on several Regional Executive Committees and Management Boards. She designed and implemented leadership transformation programs across 35 counties and has extended, hands-on experience with large, multi-country mergers & acquisitions. In her strategic leadership roles, she managed vast international and remote teams.

She has specialised in conflict management in the US and started her career as an employment lawyer in the Netherlands. As a former prescriber of coaching and consulting services, she has a good understanding of why and when organisations and leaders seek support and how to be a valuable business partner.

Madelien is part of the international executive coaching firm PRAESTA and subscribes to its philosophy and deontology.

If you want to know more about how to start, guide and finish an accountability conversation or talk about performance management in a virtual world, please contact me directly at :

LEADERKEYS — Madelien PERRIER — Tél. +33 (0)7 86 09 89 66 –