HR Famous Podcast: Coronavirus Issues for HR

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Mar 10, 2020
This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.

Editor’s Note: TLNT is the new place where you will find the first run of The HR Famous Podcast, one of what we hope to be a few podcasts we’ll be highlighting on TLNT. We are starting on episode 5, so if you want to get caught up, head to the show page to listen to episodes 1-4. 

In Episode 5 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn get together to talk about all things Coronavirus (COVID-19) and HR, including their personal views, why companies don’t plan more for bad things happening and of course, the HR mechanics that have to be figured out by HR leaders in the US if COVID-19 continues to escalate.

Deep conversations around what a sniffle now means, bias around sniffles, managers with a bias to tell people to come to work, and the sticky mess that navigating pay for hourly workers with the condition or waiting to be tested will invariably cause for organizations with narrow profitability.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify).

Show Highlights:

1:45 – Tim isn’t a fan of the COVID-19 death tally. The gang discusses the requirement for government agencies to be transparent and inform vs the insane media cycle we’re in related to the numbers, as well as all the things with huge negative numbers that don’t get reported.

3:20 – Are we hopelessly behind in America related to planning for contagion? What’s HR’s role in preparing for the worst? The gang discusses not being the panicked HR leader vs the appropriate mode of prep and concern for your organization.

6:21 – Tim brings up the point that it’s not the team eligible for “work for home” you must figure out – it’s the hourly employees who don’t get paid if they don’t come to work.

7:45 – KD talks about the challenges of someone getting sick – still the cold and flu season – how do you figure out when to let people work with sniffles and when it’s a risk?  KD also breaks down what conferences are doing (if they are holding live conferences vs canceling or going virtual). TRANSLATION: BE PREPARED TO BE TEMPERATURE SCANNED.

9:35 – The HRF team talks about how far we’re willing to go as HR pros – are we ready to temperature scan employees before they’re allowed to work? JLee talks about the fear that people have when someone coughs, as well as questions she gets asked – “have you been to Asia recently?” (aka, the cough of a PacRim person means more than someone else).

12:45 – KD talks about some hopeful news – that new cases in China have decreased (related to the trend line) for the first time and China is shutting down one of the first pop up hospitals it built in response to the decrease in the trend line.

15:20 – JLee, Tim and KD talk about the complexity of paid time off in the Coronavirus era. If someone comes down with COVID-19, will average companies provide 14 days of paid leave to impacted employees? Are they willing to put people on a form of paid leave when they are waiting for a test?  We’re back to the issue of hourly employees who don’t get paid if they’re not at work being patient zero within a single company – they come to work when they’re sick, a time-honored event we don’t see changing with COVID-19 unless great HR pros help their companies figure it out.

This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.