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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)!!! Listen on iTunesSpotify and Google Play.


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 Funny-meme-about-people-touching-their-face-coronavirus-cdc-covid-19they 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 cancelling 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.


Jessica Lee on LinkedIn

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

HRU Tech

The Tim Sackett Project

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent


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Hello, this is Cooper, a current MBA student working on a course in managerial HR. I was able to access this podcast and enjoyed seeing the parallels these HR leaders highlight in both my work life and participating in on-campus learning in 2021. Looking back on how the world approached COVID-19 almost a year ago and where the world currently stands is very interesting. Many of the same points of concern are still valid today and will likely continue to be valid moving forward. Particularly how different geographical and political areas have addressed the situation. An HR professional working in Tennessee faces different challenges than one working in California. Finding an effective workforce for both essential and non-essential roles has become increasingly difficult. Additionally, how employers address sick-leave and safety policies will affect employee satisfaction until the conclusion of the pandemic. Finally, I would like to agree with your first highlight and Tim's opinion on the death tally that continues to be reported. In the United States, we recently reached over half a million total COVID-related deaths however this number can often be misrepresented and misinterpreted by media and the public.

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They must be emotionally and physically strong, and able to be unaffected by what they see, whether in the past or in the future.

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