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Preparing for a post-pandemic world: Transforming human capital and benefit actions

By John M. Bremen and Amol Mhatre | March 2, 2021

Organizations have a clear opportunity to employ key learnings as they emerge from the pandemic to become even stronger in the post-COVID-19 era.
Talent|Total Rewards|Wellbeing
COVID 19 Coronavirus

In responding to the global health, financial and social crises associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations adapted quickly in order to:

  1. Get work done
  2. Protect their employees’ health
  3. Manage costs

As leaders prepare for post-COVID-19 operations, they recognize their organizations are in the midst of a significant transformation in many dimensions.

Their actions varied by the extent to which their businesses were impacted adversely (e.g., aviation, hospitality) or favorably (e.g., communication technology, online retail) by the crises. With rapid advances in vaccine development and distribution, there is hope and expectation that the business world will return to relative stability in 2021, with post-pandemic operations taking different forms for different organizations.

As leaders prepare for post-COVID-19 operations, they recognize their organizations are in the midst of a significant transformation in many dimensions, and are shifting focus to:

This article sets forth considerations for human capital and benefit strategies as organizations prepare for a post-pandemic future.

A note on vaccine strategy

Mass vaccination will continue through 2021 and 2022, depending on country. During this period, organizations expect to continue their existing strategies for protecting employees when localized spikes in infection and lockdowns occur. They also are monitoring government vaccination programs closely to develop comprehensive return-to-workplace policies. This goes beyond ensuring that employees and their families have access to and coverage for vaccines from health care providers.

Organizations are balancing employee safety and individual choices when designing policies, such as how to prioritize vaccinations (e.g., frontline, at-risk employees) and whether it would be possible or prudent to financially motivate or even mandate vaccination when returning to workplaces or when traveling for business now or in the future. In almost all cases, leaders already are supporting vaccination efforts through messaging, behaviors and role modeling, such as emphasizing that vaccination can prevent continued loss of freedom and using powerful narrative and influencers.

Next section: Transforming work and Total Rewards


Managing Director and Chief Innovation & Acceleration Officer

Managing Director, Human Capital and Benefits, and Integrated Solutions Leader non-North America

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