The Geelong region was challenged through COVID, but the Geelong HR Index shows it’s a resilient city.

The region was challenged by COVID however Geelong, for the bulk of our industries, did not close and the majority of our employers were able to continue amidst the restrictions and changes to work. The region paused and employment figures in April and May were unfavourable however the majority of employers were confident that they would be hiring new disciplines between July and December 2020.

“The region holds steady with majority of employers emerging from the Pandemic with the same or similar staff numbers.”

No doubt the biggest fall-out from the pandemic has been mental health. Employers were unanimous; their biggest HR challenge COVID-19 presented was the Psychological Safety of Their  Workers. The biggest challenge for HR divisions and those responsible for people management was Maintaining Personal Resilience to Withstand the Increase in Workload. Furthermore, the biggest HR initiative being addressed due to the crisis is the Health Safety and Wellbeing of our region’s employees.

Organisations have experienced the impacts when workers’ health or wellbeing are compromised. The pandemic saw individuals responding well – those who could proactively maintain healthy lifestyles and, importantly employ mental health strategies to journey through the challenges. However, many individuals were affected in different ways and the pandemic tested our population’s  resilience and coping strategies. Organisations are keen to shore up the safety and mental health and wellbeing of their workers and there is no doubt more attention and resources will be dedicated to this area in our COVID-Safe and post-pandemic world.

Despite the pandemic our employees felt supported. And our organisations’ key leaders stood up and the support provided by people’s employers was significant for the majority. Communication stepped up. While leaders didn’t know the impacts COVID would have from one day to the next they were quick to inform staff, with updates and it was this transparency  that saw employers and organisations’ leaders shed in a very positive light.

Many companies saw employee engagement increase and are still keen to do more to bed in cultures and the engagement of employees post the pandemic.

The discoveries and efficiencies derived by technology were heralded by many companies and there have been endemic changes to systems and processes as a result.

An endearing change to work is Flexible Working Arrangements that, while for the few prior to the pandemic, will continue and be a standard moving forward. Employees will be able to choose their preferred work arrangement and our employers are in full support. The only question that remains is how teams will collaborate in hybrid office/site and home environments; how strategy, process improvement and innovation will be addressed.


2020 Geelong HR Index – Release of Survey Findings

Harvest Director, Maree Herath  hosts a casual “on the couch” discussion with special guests Justin Giddings CEO Avalon Airport, Lisa Barton HR Operations The Gordon, Jason Doherty Regional GM Lifeline, Brian Cook CEO Geelong Cats , Debra Nash Commercial Director Truffle Duck and Mark Valena CEO GMHBA.

Click here to watch the 2020 Release of the HR Index on You Tube.

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