How the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the game in Europe

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