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Key takeaways from TTChamber HR E-Conference held Sept 29 – Oct 1, 2020

On Tuesday 29th September, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago held a three day HR E-Conference themed, “Improving HR’s Strategic Value” and our Aegis HR Lead, Adrian Parbhoo shared his top key points from the online event:

Change in Mindset

  • There has to be a mindset change with the new normal. We need to be creative in the ways we find opportunities and adopt a smart growth approach with remote strategies for response and recovery. Employees must upskill and retool to maintain their competitiveness and businesses also need to rethink their strategy and approach to the new world of work.


  • Wellness needs to be a priority. We need to focus on employee engagement, encourage our team members to take breaks and ensure some flexibility with work times. Psychological fitness must be maintained to avoid mental challenges and burnouts. Employers can look at creating wellness programs to support employees during this work from home transition.


  • Employees and employers must have an agreement on optimal times for work from home now that the addition of online schooling has been added to the plate. Any changes in your company’s terms and conditions of employment should be discussed and agreed by both employer and employee. Work from home is the new normal – our T&T government embraces this new arrangement. However, work from home was once a privilege but now it is the standard. We need to look at the risks and opportunities of work from home. Employers still have a duty of care even with work from home arrangements. OSHA Trinidad has outlined reasonable steps as a guide when it comes to risk assessments.


  • A work from home policy is extremely important. Companies should craft these policies based on their structure and operations and not use generic ones. We need to keep in mind the principles outlined in the Equal Opportunity Act when determining who can work from home, setting preconditions and any other rules and guidelines for work from home arrangements.


  • I.T and Data security is critical, you need to understand the risks and have these policies in place for your business.


  • Companies need to look at their insurance, workmen’s compensation etc., to determine what is covered. While there is no legal obligation for remuneration and benefits etc., we can adopt a practical approach to ensure our employees have what is needed to successfully work from work.


  • We need to be clear when it comes to performance management by setting clear expectations. Employers must have an effective performance management system for monitoring/ measuring/ dealing with consequences/ rewards and recognition/ expectations and constant feedback. Trust and flexibility are two main concerns for both employer and employee at this time.


  • People and culture are two main areas we need to shape through leadership. Compassion and empathy must be felt, we need to embrace change and move forward with the new norm together.


Surveys are important to change and adapt to new needs. We need to continuously gauge how employees feel and institute measures to rectify any gaps or inconsistencies