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For HRDs, the crisis has only just begun

“A survey carried out from April 2 to 7 by Tissot editions among 160 HR professionals, no less than 90% of those surveyed declared themselves close to exhaustion” Ade Akinrujomu / Ikon Images / Photononstop

“I can be reached by phone and email 7/7” : since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Cécile Kebbal closed all her emails with this signature. Giving time without counting? This question does not even arise for this energetic Human Resources Director (HRD) of the Manufacture d'Histoires Deux-Ponts. This printing plant in Isère has 130 employees, some of whom have been teleworking since the start of the crisis. In the eyes of Cécile Kebbal, necessity rules: “Given the exceptional nature of the situation, on my own initiative, I quickly said that I was available at all times to respond to the concerns of employees. “

As they launch the deconfinement project, the HRDs remain on all fronts. Responsible for protecting the health of employees while ensuring the continuation of the activity, they still have to keep their heads and that of the company above water. “The HR managers have been 100% on the move since the end of February! “Exclaims Benoît Serre, vice-president of the National Association of HRDs (Andrh). Strong pressure hangs over their shoulders.

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According to an express survey carried out from April 2 to 7 by Tissot editions with 160 human resources professionals, no less than 90% of those surveyed said they were close to exhaustion. The subject is sensitive: kept in reserve, several HRDs we have requested have declined our request or requested anonymity. “We are the forgotten of the second line”sighs Sandrine (her first name has been changed), the human resources director of a 300-person SME, who talks about a workload “Quite impressive”.

A myriad of texts

She also responded to our request for an interview on a Sunday. “There were lots of little things that we had to provide answers and which, put end to end, lengthened the days, adds Cécile, another HR manager (her first name has also been changed): integrate new employees, have equipment delivered to employees by teleworking … Each time, a new solution must be found. “

The puzzle seems endless. HRDs must both manage the emergency and think long term ”, underlines Marc François-Brazier, of Deloitte Capital Humain. Furthermore, “In international groups, it is necessary to take into account at each country level the stage of the pandemic, the measures in place… From the beginnings of containment, the HR managers were required to provide answers to the risks run by the employees at their place of work, while they were sailing by sight: ” At the beginning of March, we asked for occupational medicine, which was not at all aware of what to do, testifies Cecile Kebbal. Finally, we took the initiative ourselves to buy hydroalcoholic gel and to stock up on masks. ”

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