SINGAPORE (Mar 12): Covid-19 has rocked business sentiments over the past couple of months and sent the global economy into turmoil. But businesses in China are optimistic about a turnaround, if the latest survey by Korn Ferry is to be believed.
Out of 300 human resource (HR) leaders in China that were surveyed, some 90% believe that the pandemic will negatively impact both business and revenue figures.
Yet, 51% of respondents were confident that the overall market will recover in six months. Furthermore, all respondents have said that their organisations have put in place measures to counteract the impact of the virus outbreak.
For instance, 90% are providing their employees with protective equipment, while another 81% have established emergency epidemic teams.
“We believe that 2020 is likely to be a year of two halves: the first half will be spent dealing with safety, containment, continuity, and contingency planning,” says Michael Distefano, president of Korn Ferry for Asia-Pacific.
The study also finds that HR departments across all industries and company sizes have been forced to adjust their approach and focus more on short-term tactical tasks that combat the outbreak.
Some 53% of respondents regard telecommuting as the first measure that needs to be adjusted, as nearly one-third of HR leaders are worried about employee efficiency as they work remotely.
Halting recruitment was also revealed to be one of the measures that was most considered by businesses, with some 44% of companies embarking on a hiring freeze to deal with costs.
However, the survey says that this would be likely to result in a serious lack of resources and high demand for talent in the near future.
“Business leaders will need to balance empathy with business continuity and the ability to rethink what performance means in the post-coronavirus world,” says Distefano.
“In the meantime, whether the response to the epidemic is properly managed may directly affect the confidence of organisations to recover their business in the future,” he adds.