Wisdom of the Crowd: Perspectives on COVID-19

Serious businesswoman working late at computer in office

Posted by Julie DudaPeter DeBellis,on May 4, 2020.

With the advent of COVID-19, people are seeking the insight of their peers now more than ever. These interactions allow leaders to rise above the details of their own role to a broader view of the current challenges. They also afford something less tangible but no less important these days: a sense of connection.  

As part of our role as the research and sensing engine within Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice, we regularly facilitate virtual gatherings for our members to allow them to learn from, share with, and support human capital colleagues from other organizations in various industries around the globe. Our advisors and analysts also frequently meet with individual members to help them apply our proprietary research to address their most pressing human capital issues.

The insights and observations below regarding the human capital impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have been gleaned from more than a dozen member gatherings as well as many more individual interactions. We compiled this information to help you “sense” the market in near real time. We hope this will be useful as you assess the impacts of the current pandemic and chart your organization’s unique path to respond, recover, and thrive after this unprecedented challenge.

Degree of Impact




Remote Work 


Onsite Work


Check  out this episode of our Capital H podcast series for an in-depth discussion of these COVID-19 human capital observations and insights.

Performance Management




Talent Acquisition


Rewards and Wellbeing


Culture and Workforce Experience


Crises, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, can roil financial markets, disrupt organizations and industries, and create tremendous stress for workers. In this unique time, it is critical for organizations to:

  • Recognize that, first and foremost, pandemics are a human issue that deeply affect workers both personally and professionally
  • Communicate clearly and honestly with workers
  • Consider and curate the best possible experiences for both on-site and remote workers, understanding that these experiences may look very different
  • Adapt their approaches to performance management and learning in order to best support business needs and worker preferences
  • Consider how to flex, modify, or apply rewards and wellbeing programs to these unique circumstances
  • In all cases—but particularly with respect to decisions about hiring, layoffs, furloughs, and the like—make short-term choices that consider long-term impacts

This is truly a moment that matters, and one that will either strengthen or weaken the relationships between the organization and its workforce, customers, communities, and other stakeholders. All will be watching to assess whether organizations are behaving as social enterprises that balance profit with purpose and put humans at the center of work.

Julie Duda is a vice president and the member advisory leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Peter DeBellis is a vice president and the total rewards research leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

 1 As coronavirus cases grow, some of the largest US employers including Walmart and Amazon turn to thermometers as detection tool, cnbc.com / Melissa Repko, April 4, 2020.

2 How to Make Performance Management Less Hated, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Kathi Enderes and Nehal Nangia, 2019.

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