Putting your people first during COVID-19: Interview with Dr Tanvi Gautam 

COVID-19: Insights for Leaders

Responding to COVID-19 together - #SGunited #SEAunited

Dr. Tanvi Gautam

Dr. Tanvi Gautam multi-award winning keynote speaker, best selling author and consultant on transformational leadership in the age of disruption 

Awards and accolades 

- Game Changer award by Workforce Magazine 

- The change leaders of tomorrow award by the Asian Thought leadership conference

-  Top 25 HR influencers on Social media by SHRM-I for 5 years in a row

- Asia's women leaders award (2019) by the World women and leadership congress

- Dr. Tanvi also serves on the board of ARTDO international




How is the workplace going to change permanently as a result of the crisis? 


  • Engaging talent and knowing how to get them back on track is critical. Organisations will have to look for new kinds of metrics, relying not just on business OKR but focusing on the ability of their people to carry on.

  • Leaders should not just be focused on their top line against the bottom line, but should start thinking of metrics that have needed to be center stage for a long time.

  • By tracking metrics of well being, mental health, engagement, resilience, and not limited to productivity, organisations will understand that corporate performance is beyond profit. They will then be able to tackle challenges from the COVID-19 crisis and any other crises that are bound to happen in the future.

  • As expectations from employees evolve, the remote work-life balance that we are being forced to accept will start becoming the new standard.

The critical role of HR


  • The current situation represents the biggest opportunity for HR to actually take center stage and make something of this, by crafting a workplace and a culture that acknowledges the humanity of the employees.

  • We all are underestimating the psychological impact of this crisis on employees. We can expect employees to need some support in terms of recalibrating to the new normal, setting their targets and reaching those targets.

  • The  role of HR and leaders is to impose meaning and purpose in the workplace by creating a vision of getting through this crisis together 

People First - How companies should rework their priorities


  • Before the pandemic, organisations were all obsessed with digital transformation and its impact on the workplace. Today, we are facing another transformation, coming from an external source, and not internally driven.

  • Any transformation requires that leaders carry people with them by crafting a narrative that would get everyone through this. Equipping teams with digital solutions don't mean that you have learned how to lead in a crisis. Bad leading habits will remain with remote work, and behaviours might even become worse. Managers are not going to transform into leaders, just because they are in an online environment.

  • The real transformation resides in shifting from a business production perspective to a people-first view. Helping employees understand that the organisations will support them to get through this.

  • The most important question a leader can ask their people right now to create greater engagement is "What I can do to make you feel more supported?". 



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Additional Resources: 



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



The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has dampened productivity in organisations worldwide.

Our team at EngageRocket have assembled a guide for leaders to manage concerns over the well-being and engagement of their employees.


Get our infographic on 6 Useful Questions to Check In With Your Team During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

  • Understand the concerns of your employee during medical emergencies like COVID-19

  • Understand the principles of Business Continuity Planning 

  • Tips on how to manage low morale

Download the PDF version

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


COVID-19 HR Resources