• Paradigms, perception & performance: overcoming crisis through people

Paradigms, perception & performance: overcoming crisis through people

18 May 2020

It’s with great pleasure our National People Advisory Team release the results of the BDO COVID-19 Management survey in our report, Paradigms, perception & performance: overcoming crisis through people.

Crises threaten the survival of organisations and day to day life as we know it. The Global COVID-19 Pandemic has shown how true this is. Impacts to economies and businesses requiring rapid human and operational approaches, and for many, additional external support to navigate a way forward.

However, the journey for all organisations has only begun, with many months, if not years of recovery and rebuilding yet to be navigated and to occur.

So what will organisations need to ‘thrive’ and ‘strive’, and looking back - how can they better prepare themselves for the survival of the most seemingly unlikely events in the future?

Initially, this COVID-19 Management Survey was aimed at sharing in the responses of how organisations were mobilising their people at the initial stage of the crisis to better understand what immediate strategies were being implemented by businesses.  However, shortly after the survey closed, the Government introduced measures that forced many businesses out of their everyday working environment. With this in mind, this report takes a look back on these responses, and also, provides a forward-looking guidance to mobilising people, based on evidence, our experiences and discussions with clients.

Paradigms, Perception & Performance: overcoming crisis through people.

In this report we analyse three-stage crisis management approach pertinent to COVID-19 responses now – initial response, stabilisation and rebuild – and the critical things businesses and organisations will need to consider and act on at each stage. This report gives insights into:

Initial Response 

  • Leadership responses
  • Decision-making
  • Crisis action plans
  • Communication strategies in a virtual world
  • Retaining culture
  • Building a Pandemic Workforce Framework


  • Strategic continuity planning
  • Change Management approaches
  • Performance management in a remote environment
  • Retaining talent
  • Prioritising mental health and wellbeing


  • ‘Resetting’ your organisation
    • Operating models
    • Culture
    • Upskilling workforces

Download the report

We hope you enjoy our report. If you require expert guidance on mobilising your people, please contact your local team. To speak to our authors, please reach out to Maryanne Carter and Jenine Waters.