Bearing Through Adversity Together

COVID-19: Interview with Chanel Lim, Chief People Officer @ GoBear

Responding to COVID-19 together - #SGunited #SEAunited

Chanel Lim

As Chief People Officer at GoBear, or as she is affectionately known - Mama Bear, Chanel Lim leads the people function at Asia's leading financial supermarket, empowering consumers with the know-how and financial services to meet their needs.

Talking to our co-founder and CEO, Leong Chee Tung,  she shares her experience of facing the outbreak of the virus.



How did GoBear react in the initial turn of the outbreak?


  • With almost 200 Bears across Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, the People Operations team at GoBear had to react fast to disseminate the right information. 

  • Before declaration of the coronavirus as a pandemic - GoBear took the crucial step of accepting that the viral spread could significantly accelerate - and chose to act on their People Continuity Plans early. GoBear immediately enrolled their teams with Split Team arrangements across all their offices. Learn more about how your team can do the same.

  • Company culture played a major role in their early response - even without guidelines on Business Continuity Planning, managers showed empathy towards the situation and worked harder to prepare guidelines for everyone to use.
  • Timely information for all their supported regions was essential - Chanel compares the dashboards they prepared to keep track of COVID cases around Asia as akin to checking for stock market prices.


Lessons from the Mama Bear


  • Don't inundate your employees with guidelines, without care for how the message is perceived. With GoBear's employees, understanding that there was a need for managers to personally explain the impact of new people continuity plans, rather than just communicating it via email/Slack. 

  • Remove all uncertainty from your employees by being transparent with every decision. 

  • Get a feel of the pulse of the organisation. Ask your people often on how they feel.

  • Launch an internal site to communicate news. We've seen this before - communication and transparency help to manage your employee's stress levels.

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Additional Resources: 



Business Continuity Plan

While a BCP is focused on bringing operational processes set in place, a People Continuity Plan  focuses on developing an environment that is supportive of your employee's emotional health, as well as developing procedures to manage critical business functions from 

Here are some resources for building psychological resilience for your teams, developing your people strategy and introducing succession planning for your teams.

Read our resources about PCP

Lessons from Indonesia's largest unicorn

We've interviewed Vice President of People at Tokopedia on their company's response to the COVID-19 crisis. Tokopedia employs more than 3000 employees across Indonesia - how did they manage employee experiences?

Visit our resources page to learn more about how to put your people-first during COVID-19


COVID-19 HR Resources