A personal reflection about Covid-19 effects on employment and Business Leadership
By: Francisco Castillo, Senior Process Architect
2020 will, without a doubt, be a year full of transformation in every aspect, not only considering the pandemic and crisis that has come afloat due to it, but because of the challenges that have been presented to us as individuals, corporations and society.
The year started off with news announcing the discovery of Chinese citizens being infected by a lethal virus, which was later named SARS COV-2 or COVID-19. On the other hand, the economic prospect indicated that the worldwide economy would experience a slight rebound, world growth of 2.5% according to the World Bank. Mexicou’s perspective aspired for a 1.2% of growth. Despite the low encouragement, it was still positive and more optimistic contrasting it to 2019’s growth of 0%.
The virus had arrived in Europe by the end of January and by the end of February, the first case of coronavirus was reported in Mexico. The numbers currently surpass 13 million infected people worldwide, Mexico takes the seventh spot out of 188 countries with more than 300 thousand cases and more than 35 thousand deaths as of the closing of this document. Despite the amount of countries that have found effective countermeasures to reduce the spread rate there are others whose propagation has had an unprecedented acceleration. Overall, 2020 took us by surprise with its obstacles, but not greater than the speed and magnitude of the changes and consequences presented.
Consequences on the work environment… and the employees.
Two weeks prior to Mexicou2019s announcement to initiate quarantine due to the sanitary crisis, I found myself taking on a new laboral challenge in BTConsortium. The first issue that was bound to come was my stay in the company due to the new world crisis; nevertheless, I soon discovered that BTConsortium is a company dedicated to the transformation of other companies and is genuinely compromised with their Team; their immediate reaction wasnu2019t to lower the costs through a reduction of staff. They turned to reflect on the situation, to call in with various Business Leaders and coined the concept, the practice and the message, Solidarity Leadership 5.0, which focuses on not leaving anyone behind and saving the ecosystem, in benefit of everyone. We’ve always tried to surpass the obstacles and challenges with the help of our Team. Nevertheless, despite our numerous encounters with similar cases, not all the situations have been the same.
As the virus spread around the globe, the economic perspective has changed due to the measurements implemented in countries to prevent the virus from spreading any further: quarantine, permanent and temporary business closure, etc. All of these have resulted in a great impact in the economy and radical effects in the laboral life of millions of people. Direct and indirect effects that have changed the lives of many people, families and dreams.
According to ILO (International Labor Organization), it is roughly estimated that the stagnation measurements have affected around 2,700 millions of workers, that is: 81% of the worldwide workforce, which estimates about 1,250 millions of workers at risk of losing their job due to the magnitude of the impact of COVID-19 in their area, specifically: commerce, accomodation systems, manufacturing industry and food services. It is estimated that Latin America will suffer a contraction in their economy of more than 5% in 2020, which could cause the loss of a job for 11.6 million people due to the pandemic, which could translate into a broadening of the informal economy of which Mexico has more than 56% of its EAP.
As this pandemic progresses, we continue discovering the consequences and challenges that it presents. Beyond the numbers, it has affected people, families and their plans from social stability. The rules have changed, the plans have changed. There has to be a fundamental change in people and corporations.
In BTConsortium we are convinced that crises like this are opportunities of growth that further encourages us to accelerate transformation in companies. It’s the Leaders’ duty to take on the challenge and become pilots of change rather than passengers.
We need Leadersu2026 Strategic and Supportive Leaders.
The scene of companies for the next few months seem to be extremely challenging as they have to be able to continue functioning and keep the world’s economy from stagnating, while maintaining the job positions to support the society’s stability. Without pretending to be exhaustive with the challenges that the leader faces, at least we know that they go through health, economic, lack of government support, insecurity, new regulations, among others.
In our opinion, a new scene is upon us. A scene in which everyone has one common issue, not particular to one area. This crisis demands a new form of leadership. A strategic and supporting leadership.
A strategic leader that pursues not only the best way to keep the company afloat, but looks for new ways to create value and emerge stronger from the crisis. How to see the company as a whole, rethink strategy, management, organization, culture and technology.
A supportive leader that looks for this way of creating value to benefit the ecosystem as a whole: providers, collaborators, clients, consumers, communities, government, guild. One with good decision making skills and support, decisions that imply expense or cost for the company, but end in clear benefit for the ecosystem. One that is committed to the loyalty and well-being of its collaborators. That encourages their collaborators to reconsider their dreams and reevaluates them together. A leader that makes the company an inspiring platform for collaborators’ and the company’s dreams to come true, for everyone to move forward together, as a community. One that encourages their collaborators to surpass fear and uncertainty, to not give up their career into fear, to move forward with courage, proper leadership, strategy and support. Strategic and supportive leaders.
The future and present have merged, the business leadership will be a key point, their capacity of adaptability and responsiveness in an area of constant change. The pandemic and quarantine has not only changed the work fashion in companies. Regarding health security measures and new protocols, it’s time to protect talent, promote remote work, and strengthen collaboration culture, and prepare a resilient organization to conquer new challenges together.
In BTConsortium, now, more than ever, we are here for you.