In an effort to help fill the void that the cancelled HR Summit created for our students, we tapped some alumni for assistance. Graciously, Jessica Warmington (‘10), Jordana Kammerud (’00) and Mark Esselman (’80) agreed to participate in a workshop called HR in Times of Crisis. Each of them provided detailed illustrations of the types of situations and challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to their companies and their workforces.
Our presenters spanned a variety of industries—manufacturing, retail, and oil—and came from different points in their careers. Despite these interesting variations, it became quite clear across all three presenters that this is indeed a time in which we see the importance of HR excelling as both a strategic partner and an employee advocate. Thanks to Jessica, Jordana, and Mark for stepping up in a vital way to create a just-in-time experience for our students.
This deep dive into HR’s role in crisis response also marked the second of our Friday Workshops this semester, and the first to be online. The earlier workshop was an immersion into executive compensation under the in-person guidance of Ben Burney (MBA ‘08). Our purpose in these workshops is to find an area in which our students want more information and then to draw upon our experts in the field (i.e., you) or in Grainger Hall to provide it. While we had hoped to revel in a terrific HR Summit on April 17, pivoting to a Friday Workshop on such a timely and crucial matter was a valuable alternative. The subject matter was compelling (as were our presenters!) and it gave us a chance to all check in.
We are continuing to learn, adapt, and stay in touch. We hope that you all are staying healthy and faring well.
Charlie Trevor is the Academic Director of the Strategic Human Resource Management Center.