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  • Raj Varma

CEO Action Plan - Streamline Your Workforce During COVID -19 Pandemic

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Times of crisis put leadership to the test. The window for initial action is small – be planful rather than giving in to knee-jerk reactions.




COVID-19 with Ease

“Employees are an organization’s greatest asset. When faced with cost-cutting pressures, look for redeployment opportunities that use talent as a resource to get through hard times before resorting to difficult layoff decisions. ”



Your Organization Situation


COVID-19 is showing the true impacts that our volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world can have. The world has been forced to respond, with a pandemic triggering record-breaking market volatility, causing organizations to face very hard decisions. Not knowing what a new day will bring means talent decisions are more difficult than ever.


Your Organization Complications


Reduced infection rates in compromised areas is providing hope that these difficult times will pass. However, organizations are facing harsh realities in real time. With significant reductions in revenue, employers are facing pressure to quickly implement cost-cutting strategies, resulting in mass layoffs of valuable employees.


CXO Solution

Make the most of your workforce in this unprecedented situation by following CXO UG’s process to initiate redeployment efforts and reduce costs. If all else fails, follow our guidance on planning for layoffs and considerations when doing so.




CXO UG Recommendations


“CIOs should prepare IT systems now to safely and reliably handle a vast increase in remote workers and digital fulfillment of market demand."
"Pandemic Preparedness Requires Strong Business Continuity Management"


Pandemic Preparedness Strategy Point 1 - Meet with Leadership

Set strategy with senior leadership

Review pandemic impact on organization Determine the balance between risk and organizational viability Review cost-cutting measures including redeployment and layoffs

Brainstorm underused and understaffed employee segments and departments

Create a list of employee segments that are underused and have a labor

surplus Create a list of employee segments that need additional talent resources

Determine approach to redeployments and layoffs

Create a redeployment process for departmental/functional leaders to follow

Create a timeline for redeployment and layoff actions to be taken

Communicate to departmental/functional leaders



Pandemic Preparedness Strategy Point 2 - Plan Individual and Department Redeployment

Collect key information

Identify employees that need to be redeployed

Assess transferrable skills

Prepare and redeploy

Create a high-level action plan

Prepare communication on the initiative

Provide training to redeployed employees

Support employees through the transition

Roll up information across the organization

Communicate all redeployment decisions and actions to executive leadership


Pandemic Preparedness Strategy Point 3 - Plan Individual and Department Layoffs

Plan for Layoff

Review layoff decision and the roles selected

Evaluate layoff costs

Plan layoff logistics

Execute on the Layoff Plan

Review all administrative requirements

Review all obligations under employment regulations

Determine all support available to employees

Communication Plan

Plan for all levels of communication with affected employees


Pandemic Preparedness Strategy Point 4 - Monitor and Manage Departmental Effectiveness

Monitor departmental performance

Review key metrics by department

Determine impacts of redeployments and layoffs

Review organizational performance

Review key organizational metrics

Revisit placement on Risk & Viability Matrix

Revisit threshold for layoffs

Identify areas for potential redeployments


Determine next steps

Decide how to respond to the evolving situation




The novel coronavirus pandemic, or COVID-19 , is predicted to have an impact on the global economy. Where the global real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.9 percent in 2019, it is forecasted that COVID-19 will cause the global real GDP growth to decrease by 0.5 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year, to 2.4 percent growth.



In the best case scenario in 2020, which is defined as a two month duration of travel bans and a sharp decline in domestic demand, the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to decrease by 0.09 percent due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In a worse case scenario, defined as a six month duration of travel bans, the global GDP is predicted to decrease by 0.4 percent.


Final Thoughts


COVID-19 is a catastrophe that keeps on disturbing a huge number of lives. Great leadership is essential and there is maybe one silver coating, which is that this emergency speaks to an open door for pioneers to make more team cohesion and advancement despite difficulty

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