Cornell University

Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies

193 Ives Faculty Building, 607-255-9358

Spring 2009 White Paper

Keeping the Workforce Engaged During Crisis: Benchmarking Study


The research study conducted for the Spring 2009 CAHRS Partner Meeting focused on understanding how organizations are keeping their workforce engaged in the midst of the most severe economic crisis seen in a generation. Thirty-five CAHRS partner firms shared their views on overarching engagement concerns and the strategies being utilized to help employees remain focused and productive.

The four overall engagement concerns identified were: 1) keeping employees focused amid external and internal distraction; 2) supporting employee well being; 3) managing and preserving talent; and 4) messaging appropriately to both provide reassurance and protect the employer-employee bond.

To address these concerns, CAHRS partner firms are employing a mix of the following five strategies or solutions: 1) increased communications; 2) additional direct support for leader/manager populations; 3) enhancing connections between employees and the organization; 4) continuing a small number of business as usual activities; and 5) practical, common-sense actions specific to the situation of a particular firm and the needs of its workforce. Finally, this study identifies three categories of talent challenges facing organizations when economic recovery arrives.

Fall 2009 White Paper

Managing Growth and Its Inherent Risk: Benchmarking Study


To support its partners, CAHRS research assistants embarked on a research study in the fall of 2009 designed to better understand the ways in which companies view risk, to identify the risks most relevant to companies, and to shed light onto how HR supports the business through the assessment and mitigation of these identified risks. Research assistants presented their findings from 38 partner interviews in a presentation at the fall 2009 CAHRS partner meeting.

Risk will forever be a part of doing business, and in order for a company to grow, some element of risk will always be involved. Whether it’s an oil spill off the coast of Alaska, excessive executive pay, or overshooting a Minneapolis landing by 150 miles, many of the risks companies deal with are connected to its people. Considering this, how does human resources partner with the business in order to assess and manage these risks? This CAHRS study will provide insights into how companies identify, assess, and mitigate risks, in order to help tailor your particular organization’s HR strategies and practices around risk.