How Best Workplaces™ Respond Differently During the Pandemic: Embrace Humanity

Share This Page To:

In this fifth and final installment of our blog series about our 2020 Insights Report entitled Trust Enables New Ways To Work, we look at how leaders of Best Workplaces embraced humanity as they responded to the pandemic. 

Courage and Curiousity 

A virus does not know hierarchy, nor does it discriminate in its impact. It is an equalizer that reminds us of our humanity.  Throughout the crisis, leaders of our Best Workplaces were aware of their limitations, but also courageous and curious enough to create sincere and open connections with others, demonstrating humility and honesty in caring for their organizations, as well as the communities they serve.   

Leaders understood that it was up to them to demonstrate that it was okay not to be fully in control – no one was, given the extraordinary circumstances. Instead, they showed vulnerability and humility, and encouraged others to feel comfortable doing the same.  This open approach allowed employees and teams to embrace their humanity in managing the imperfections of working from home, and many other unplanned challenges.

Equity, Intimacy and Personal Respect 

In our survey results, we examined the expression of humanity throughout the various stages of the pandemic by focusing on statements related to the factors of Equity, Intimacy and Personal Respect. 

Equity means employees feel like they are paid fairly and treated as a full member of the team regardless of their position. 

Intimacy happens when employees are able to be themselves at work and feel that people care about each other. 

Personal Respect is experienced when employees feel that management provides the resources needed to do their job, trusts them to do a good job without looking over their shoulder, and encourages them to balance their work and personal life. 

The pandemic provided many opportunities for managers and teams to demonstrate intimacy and show care for each other, including during virtual town halls and team ‘check-ins’, informal fun activities and on-line celebrations. Personal Respect was demonstrated by providing employees with the equipment and resources to set up home workspaces, and trusting them to deliver results, even though no one could see what they were doing.

Spotlight on Best Workplaces 

World Wide Technology recognized that remote work could lead to longer work days for employees without them realizing it. Employees were encouraged to build regular breaks into their day, take personal time off, leave their desks when they needed to re-charge, plan time to socialize with co-workers, and check in on one another. To alleviate stress, employees could block time out during the day, to focus on their kids and not worry about work as they juggled home-schooling or childcare.  

Amgen Singapore provided a host of resources for people managers, including a comprehensive ‘Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Guide’, to help them assist their teams to navigate this period of dynamic change. They also held forums for their extended leadership to share best practices with one another, and curated a set of leadership trainings to better equip leaders with skills to show vulnerability, have courageous conversations, and facilitate virtual team building exercises.

Looking Ahead

The pandemic has brought us closer to our sense of humanness in many ways. Looking forward, we expect that Best Workplaces will continue to embrace humanity by ensuring equity, personal respect, and fostering a more intimate relationship with employees and others.

Get the Latest Articles, Insights, Trends and More.


To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.