#AskTheCIPD 13 May 2020 – questions and answers from our Twitter Q&As on 'Support for CIPD members during the current crisis - and beyond.'

Our experts answering today's questions include Gemma Dale, HR leader, speaker, writer and award-winning blogger. Gemma is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. Joining Gemma is David D’Souza, Membership Director of the CIPD.

Q1 When the #coronavirus crisis struck, what were the main concerns of @CIPD  members?

Gemma Dale - Where to begin? Practicalities including getting people working from home, supporting people managers through the transition, supporting working parents... we were in a coping phase. We now appear to be turning to resilience and recovery and then of course.... furlough. A huge challenge for much of our profession, both understanding it, making it happen and keeping people out of the business engaged and supported and finally,... wellbeing.  We know that there is a big mental health implication for our people - we just don't know how big and how long it will last.

Q2 How have members been using the @CIPD online resources during this crisis?

David D’Souza - We've seen a massive upsurge in usage of our resources inc the Coronavirus hub https://bit.ly/3fHj8Pj, our online Communities and FAQs. We've had over 2 million pageviews on the hub - and these are in addition to the helplines for members being far busier than ever.

Q3 How are @CIPD members supporting the wellbeing of their remote teams at the moment?

Gemma Dale - There are some people doing great work. I've seen examples of online workshops, on-demand resources, Apps, manager guidance, coaching and training.... they key is to offer a range of resources to meet the wide range of needs. A few other things I have seen... online book clubs, online support groups, colouring books for relaxation, podcasts, blogs, fitness classes and videos.

Q4 What about the wellbeing of #HR professionals themselves? What help is there for @CIPD members feeling low, stressed or emotionally drained?

David D’Souza - We did a recent webinar on this which covered the topic in some detail, and you can find that here (and hear more from @HR_Gem!)  https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/coronavirus/webinars/hr-resilience-1-may-2020 …. We also launched our new 24/7 helpline for members that are struggling with the current situation. It's an impossibly challenging time, so it's really important look after themselves and each other - to put them in the best space to look after others.

Gemma Dale - It is key right now that HR professionals prioritise their self-care. Repeat after me.... self-care isn't selfish. Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. No is a complete sentence.

Q5 What’s happening with @CIPD membership fees this year? It’s been tough for a lot of businesses.

David D’Souza  - We've frozen fees at last year's level. The decision was taken by the Board and Council (both made up of volunteers) that this would be the right thing to do. So no change during this period. For members there should be no increase in fees but an increase in value.

Q6 How has the @CIPD adapted itself to better serve the people profession during this crisis?

David D’Souza - We've been moving faster than ever before in providing relevant content - webinars, the Coronavirus hub, podcasts, factsheets. We've been doing that whilst moving all of our teams to working from home including Customer Services

Gemma Dale - I consider myself a friend of the @CIPD in most times (declaring potential bias) but the speed at which you have got information out and provided support is to be commended.

David D’Souza - So, it has been a big shift for us in terms of ways of working and we are learning as we go too, but the most important thing has been to improve provision of support to our Members at the most challenging period in memory.

Q7 What do you think many @CIPD members will be prioritising now? Anything they *should* be prioritising?

Gemma Dale - Many are now turning to thinking about the future now that the immediate challenges have been addressed. What is key now is planning the return to work.  This will need to include practical provision, allaying fears but also mental health and wellbeing.

Q8 What does the future look like for @CIPD members and how will membership be adapting/evolving to support them in the coming months and years?

David D’Souza - The next year is a really important one. We need to keep up the relevance and speed, but I'm excited about some of the things we have in the pipeline. More investment in communities and a brand new learning platform for the profession in particular. We've been listening really hard over the last few years to what our Members say they want and need from us. We are seeing really positive feedback to some of the changes - so we'll keep listening and improving.

Gemma Dale - The future is a mirror in which we can only see ourselves - right now it is hard to envisage what comes next. It will involve challenges and more change. There will be no one best practice way of dealing with them - the community can support each other.

David D’Souza - In terms of the profession, it's currently playing an invaluable role in supporting people and organisations through the crisis. All eyes are on it and the #HRTogether campaign will showcase how much of a positive difference we are making. We have to continue to do so.

Gemma Dale - If we want a different future  of work we cannot assume that the current situation will deliver it - we will need to craft and create.  HR have a key role to play here.  Learn from now and decide to be different?

Q9 Many @CIPD members will wonder whether the time is right to take on upgrading their membership in 2020 with so many other priorities. How would you advise them?

David D’Souza - For many people it will be a great opportunity to do so - and for others it might not be high up on the list. We try to make it as supportive as possible - and whilst we talk about the other benefits of membership professional credibility is always the most important.

Gemma Dale - Totally! Even in the midst of all that is going on, we shouldn't lose sight of our own needs.

Q10 And in closing, @DDS180, @HR_Gem, any reflections on ‘What has made you proud about the @CIPD member response to the current crisis?’

Gemma Dale - Where to start.... I know people that have been working exceptionally hard from dealing with the practical issues of furlough, moving L&D online, updating policies, writing comms, delivering wellbeing support.... Well done HR folks everywhere - you rock!

David D’Souza - I think our Members say it better than we can - or more directly. The link here https://peopleprofession.cipd.org/get-started/stories … and the #HRTogether hashtag showcase so many great things happening in the most difficult and sad of circumstances. It's not just about the hard work - although many people are showing their commitment. It's about the care, the expertise and bravery. #HR professionals are doing so much to change people the way people think about it for the better.

For information on how CIPD membership can support you throughout your career please visit https://www.cipd.co.uk/membership/benefits

And for information for people professionals on everything Covid-19 related, visit our Coronavirus Hub at https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/coronavirus

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