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The impact of COVID-19 on human capital within organizations

Next generation work

The impact of COVID-19 on human capital within organizations

The coronavirus crisis has forced organizations to adopt new ways of working, and employees have shown great adaptability in recent months. What can we learn from this for the future of work? And what does this mean for sustainable careers? To find out, we have been regularly surveying employers since April 2020, together with, more recently, employees.

Type project Research project within the SD Worx Chair ‘Next Generation Work: Creating Sustainable Careers’
Project partners VBO, HRPro.be
Duration April 01, 2020 - December 31, 2021

COVID-19 accelerated ongoing evolutions

The pandemic has disrupted the normal way of working in organizations and accelerated ongoing evolutions such as telework and digitalization. Insights into the impact of the pandemic on work and careers is not only important for organizations to grow their way out of this crisis along with their employees. They also offer tools to monitor (mental) health, social connection and employability of employees in the longer term and thus create sustainable careers.

The coronavirus crisis is forcing organizations to look for new ways of working. Since April 2020, we have been regularly surveying executives and HR professionals, together with VBO/FEB, about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human capital within their organization. From April 2021 onward, we have also started surveying employees.

Mail survey Covid Human Impact LR

The results show, among other things, that working from home has become the norm, that employers have come to trust their employees more but are struggling with social connection of employees who are less physically together in the workplace. There is great concern for the mental well-being of employees. Many organizations have had to shift gears swiftly to respond to sudden activity level changes.

This is expressed, among other things, in internal employee relocation and digitalization of work. A limited number of organizations are also resorting to temporary hiring out of employees. At the same time, training is under pressure in many companies.

Similar trends occur among the employees surveyed: COVID-19 is putting pressure on their mental well-being and on their social connection with their employer and coworkers. Some have lost confidence in their employer a bit and 1 in 4 are looking for other work. At the same time, many do see a positive impact on their learning curve and employability–because of the rapid changes in working methods or assignments, they have developed new skills and most particularly, digital skills. These were mainly developed 'on the job' rather than through formal training.

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White paper 'Impact COVID-19 on human capital in organizations'

In April 2020, in the midst of a coronary crisis, we launched a survey with organizations on the impact of COVID-19 on their human capital. Nothing led us to believe that, more than a year and 5 surveys later, we would still be researching the impact of the pandemic on work and careers - not only among employers, but also among employees. In this research report, you can read more about our main findings. (in Dutch)

Download the white paper (Dutch)

Ans Kath LR

How to reweave organizations’ social fabric?

One year after the start of their research, Ans and Kathleen are questioning not only the employers but also the employees. How did they experience the crisis and what impact did it have on their perception of work?

Read the blog

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Science on the impact of the pandemic on organizations and their talent

What does science say about the most striking results from a year of research on the impact of the pandemic in organizations? And how does that relate to a work context?

Episode 1: Bonding and Freedom (Dutch)
Episode 2: Momentum for the growth mindset (Dutch)
Episode 3: Science about stress (Dutch)

Episode 4: Science about career mobility (Dutch)
Episode 5: Science about psychological contract (Dutch)

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Kathleen Vangronsvelt LR

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Kathleen Vangronsvelt, PhD

Phone: 03 265 98 31

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