02 Apr 2020


Our response will be a defining moment for us now.

As Governments around the world announced economic stimulus packages to their nations from a financial crisis, it is interesting to now observe how leaders in organizations will address the most looming economic crisis related to the pandemic: the threat of the financial fallout from widespread unemployment.

Tim Ryan U.S. chair and senior partner at PwC said “The best way for the business community to help is to do what we can to keep our people at work”. PwC has prioritized people over profits for 2020. It’s leadership team and board agree that it is better to err on the side of keeping people at work rather than trying to achieve short-term targets.

Last week, IHG launched the “IHG Hotel Colleague” job resource center for U.S. employees who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have taken it a step further to partner with companies across industries such as Amazon, Walmart, CVS, Albertsons, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Lowe’s and Home Depot who are looking to hiring highly skilled hospitality professionals to offer great service to their customers. The service will be expanded into additional markets outside the US in the coming weeks.

From business models to people strategy to the way we work, things are going to be radically different post this crisis. It will be a lasting shift for many companies for years to come. As a business, we need to recognise this and adapt accordingly.

 Just as IHG has gone from becoming just a travel and service-related industry to a job center in just a short time, our response will be a defining moment for us now.

In the service industry, we must acknowledge that people on the ground at the front lines know more about our customers than the inhabitants of the executive suite. It is hard to imagine what travel will look like when it eventually ramps back up, but it has rebounded from past crises and it will bounce back again. Therefore, we need to be agile and flexible, creative in finding solutions for sustainable business continuity for long term. Rethinking – is the new normal, the real test of sound leadership.