How the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the game in Europe
An international outlook for the coming months and some advice from our experts
November, 2020 — COVID-19 outbreak is a major challenge for the European and the global economies. Even though the European Union has taken measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 by protecting critical sectors of our economy, the impact of the pandemic in each member state is different. With many European countries introducing reinforced measures to control the increase of COVID-19 cases, the upcoming months will show how this will affect the economic situation.
We had the chance to interview Jadwiga Kuczkowska and David Buchberger, respectively the managing director of Glasford International Poland and Germany and asked for their insights regarding the economic situation in Poland and Germany after the first lockdown and how they are preparing for the next months.
“Although the German economy was heavily affected by the Covid-19 crisis I expect a rapid recovery over most industries and branches.”, said David Buchberger, from Glasford International Germany. “Due to strong political and economic support German Government did a good job to avoid the worst and prepare the ground for solid growth in the near future.” “The crisis has for sure changed the way companies organize their businesses, but on the other hand helped them to focus and to sharpen their business and innovation strategies. Although special branches have suffered more than others the strong economic drivers in Germany as industrial manufacturers, automotive companies and technology providers will find their way out of the crisis and help the German economy to stabilize”. Buchberger also comments that they are already seeing a positive trend. “We see strong signals for growth among our clients for the last quarter of the year and expect a quite stable executive search business in the near future.”
“Since the beginning of the second part of 2020 the situation in the Polish economy, especially in industry, seems to be quite good. After the shot in July to nearly 53 points, the industrial PMI index published on September 1 records a retreat to around 50 points, which is an agreed border between the forecast sector development and recession.” said Jadwiga Kuczkowska, from Glasford International Poland. Kuczkowska points out though that these results are better than those in 2019. “Some of our clients report that amount of inquiries and orders exceed their production capacity. Additionally we observe constant increase of export production with destinations in Europe and USA caused by withdrawing production from China and allocating it in CEE countries. That is why despite growing number of Covid cases in Poland, we look to the future of our economy with hope.”
What are the tools and skills that the HR professional should learn?
“During the pandemic times the list of tasks of HR departments has grown significantly — from the constant monitoring and implementation of legal regulations, the development of completely new OHS procedures, the introduction of new processes, regulations and tools supporting remote work, to the management of completely new internal communication and falling down integration of employees. HR professionals are also expected to be a great support to management and all employees in the period of a huge stress and a great unknown as well as to take over the role of organizer of the new reality and to make good decisions based on very limited data resources. All that requires very complex set of skills allowing for successful functioning in this mega VUCA world.”
Jadwiga Kuczkowska, Managing Director Glasford International Poland
What leadership style do organizations need for the New Normal?
“Covid-19 has definitely changed many important aspects of our working life and it has proven to be a tough leadership test for many leaders across different sectors. Leaders were asked in a short period of time to change their leadership style and adapt quickly to the situation. Resilience, quick decision making and being able to lead at distance were the key skills for leaders in order to overcome and lead their organizations out the Covid-19 crisis. Agile leadership is going to be a core qualification for the time to come. As we slowly emerge from this crisis and we are heading into the New Normal, leaders are asked more than ever to be agile, to be able not only to adapt effectively to the situation but mainly to leverage the crisis and find the best way to make the organization succeed. Clear communication within the team and in the whole organization, as well as a strong emotional health support for the employees will also be part of the new skill set that leaders will need heading to the New Normal.”
David Buchberger, Managing Director Glasford International Germany
Author: Glasford International Deutschland Research & Analytics