Health is the biggest challenge of COVID19. Employment is the second biggest.
Because of COVID, millions have lost their jobs. And those who were entering the job market 2020 have fewer opportunities for finding a job.
No surprise that there is a raging debate on a bizarre topic of life vs livelihood. The discussion started when the lockdowns prevented many people from working, their only means of earning a living. As the pandemic prolonged, the debate continued.
Managing a Pandemic that Destroyed the Livelihoods
The companies that were hit by the COVID prioritized stabilizing their operations first, by ensuring the essential functions such as sales, production and collection continue to the extent possible.
The next stage is the recovery. It means getting the business volumes back to the pre-COVID levels.
Once the business is back to normal, the company can plan for growth.
The approach is logical. But where are the workers in all these?
Everyone has a Responsibility to Protect and Create Jobs
Employment is about livelihood and dignity. Everyone must make an effort to protect jobs during the stabilization and recovery stages and to create jobs as during the growth stage.
- What can you do as a CEO? Remember that your decisions do impact many families. Rank protecting jobs a top priority. The world will respect your legacy as a leader who protected jobs in a crisis.
- What can do as a Manager? Develop plans to stabilize, recover and grow the business. Instead of choosing the easy way of retrenching, create value-adding projects that will benefit the owners and workers
- What can you do as a Consumer?” Buy the products of companies that are protecting and creating jobs, the same way you do for protecting the environment or human rights. When you get the Annual Report of a company, please go to the Sustainability section to see their efforts to protect and create jobs.
- What can you do as a worker? Work harder to add value. Lobby for the decision to protect and create jobs.
- What can governments do? The right to work is enshrined in the Universa Declaration of Human Rights. It is part of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The government can coax, cajole, nudge and incentivize employers to protect jobs through a transparent and fair policy framework.
We are amid a pandemic. We adore the medics, the corona warriors, for their sacrifices.
If you are not a medic or corona-warrior, what would you say about your contribution to navigating through the crisis? I doubt it would be, “I survived.’
There is one way you can contribute: by protecting and creating jobs.