Trending Forward: How to Leverage the 3 C’s Into the Next Phase of Workplace Strategy

We’re in the beginning weeks of communities moving into the “new norm,” and companies around the nation are planning for what that looks like. While we don’t know the long-term effects of coronavirus, the economy, and social unrest, we do know workplace strategy and workforce planning have been completely flipped upside down.

Over these past few weeks, we have been connecting with talent acquisition leaders in various industries around the US from Airline, Banking, Healthcare, Hospitality, and Tech. Even though these industries have a range of work conditions that vary across the board, there are a number of variables emerging from each industry that has led us to beg the question; what will the People Services (HR) trends be for the new norm? And… how will organizations adapt to these changes?

Let’s not forget that pre-pandemic, there was a war on talent. Unemployment was at an all-time low of 3.5%. Companies were attracting talent with workplace incentives, real estate, total rewards, tuition reimbursement, and more.

Today, unemployment is at an all-time high of 14.7%. Organizations across the US are working with a shell of a team, as many have had to furlough and/or lay-off team members. On top of that, organizations are being asked to create a workplace strategy with safety and security measures at the forefront, yet there’s no “best practices handbook” to guide them along the way.

During any time of unrest, there are always organizations that stand out as pioneers and organizations that have an opportunity to learn and grow. Wherever you fall within the spectrum, here are some recommended questions to ask yourself to ensure you are meeting your people where they need you most.

Reshaping the Future

There are three commonalities in this approach we’ve seen across the board: Communication, Compensation, and Culture.


How effective are you communicating with team members?

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  • Are you communicating with those who are working?
  • How about those who are temporarily laid off/furloughed?
  • Did communication come from senior leadership, direct manager, or both?
  • What type of communication have you been providing? Assistance with unemployment claims? Return to work details? Workplace safety?
  • Have you surveyed your team members to ensure their voice is part of the new norm?
  • How bought-in are your team members to the new requirements?


How have team members been compensated during COVID-19?

  • Are your team members making more unemployed than working?
  • Are any of your team members working the same, if not more, and took a pay cut?
  • Have you given your team members a raise, a bonus, PTO, or a promotion based on their additional hard work and responsibilities?
  • How have you accommodated team members working from home? Have you offered compensation for a virtual home office, cell phone needs, or printing and scanning needs?
  • Have you connected with your legal advisors on the CARES Act, FMLA, worker’s compensation, and ADA?


How are the culture and environment changing?

  • What do your employee perks look like? How have they evolved during COVID-19?
  • Are you offering flexibility with scheduling?
  • How has your organization continued to foster collaboration and community?
  • How are you spreading the love?

As you can see from the above, from a workforce planning standpoint, you’re likely to retain associates during these unprecedented times by fostering an environment of a diversity of thought with open lines of communication. Team members, active and furloughed, want to feel appreciated and stay connected.

If you feel you have missed the boat, don’t worry, there are resources and time to still catch up! Think of this article as a toolbox for managing the next phase of the future and think of us as your resource as you continue to build upon opportunities to further your workplace communication, compensation, and culture!

Rebecca Ahmed is an award winning keynote speaker, certified coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and published writer. She brings energy and joy to your workplace and life and is a recognized expert in career counseling, culture, and diversity and inclusion. During her 10+ years as a leader in Human Resources (HR) in Hospitality, she is most notably recognized for partnering with C-Suite Executives through a 2.8B M&A, overseeing HR Operations and Technology for 16,000+ team members, and developing pipeline partnerships with high schools and colleges to ensure each of the organizations she worked with had a robust internship and youth succession program. As the founder and CEO of Laugh Thru LifeRebecca wears a Chief Bullshit Button and Energizer Hat, supporting clients in helping them to “see what they’re not seeing,” calling them out when they’re not honoring themselves, their values, or their worth, and reigniting their passion to feel empowered with confidence to laugh thru life. Rebecca has a bachelor’s in public relations with a double minor in communication design and business from the University of Southern California, and a masters in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Nicole Wagner has been a leader in Human Resources (HR) for 12+ years. Her tenure lies within the Hospitality industry, with organizations such as The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, spearheading Talent Acquisition and University Relations. She currently leads a robust national internship program for Compass Group USA, a leading foodservice and support services organization. Recognized as a career concierge, Nicole focuses on the Gen Z talent space, assisting students across university campuses to navigate the world of Hospitality and Food & Beverage (F&B). Being an advocate and advisor, Nicole is committed to support the next generation of the workforce. She continues to be part of the experience that kick-starts their career by offering these talented students career coaching, professional development workshops and mentorship. Nicole has a bachelor’s degree in education from University of North Florida.