What becomes of the broken contracts?
With over two very surreal weeks behind us since the recent catastrophic Christchurch earthquakes, many stoic and staunch Cantabrians are starting to move up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. For many their basic needs have now been met, with security, food and shelter taken care of. Those who had jobs are either going back to work wherever possible or are receiving financial assistance from their employers or the Government until they can return to their former jobs, or until they find new ones. Many people have left Christchurch – around 70,000 at last count – with about a quarter not planning to return sometime soon, if at all.
For most people working in Human Resources in the Canterbury region, and for those whose organisations have branches or responsibilities for people in Canterbury, the work continues with very long days rebuilding infrastructure, shattered lives, and a desperate sense of trying to get back to some semblance of normal, or business as usual.
But for a large group of people with excellent HR expertise and years of experience, knowledge and wisdom that have been providing consultancy and contracting services to Canterbury based organisations, things are very different. Many have suddenly found themselves with contracts cancelled or delayed indefinitely, without the work they thought they’d be doing and there’s little chance of the situation changing in a hurry as organisations switch from planned growth and development pre-earthquake, to mere survival since 22 February.
As I see it, the risk for the Canterbury region as it gets on with the job of rebuilding the city and the economic centre of the South Island, is that there is a very strong likelihood that when the time comes they’ll find themselves without the intellectual expertise of these consultants because many will have all left the area to find work elsewhere. And who can blame them.
In a perfect world (and we certainly know that there is no such thing anymore) the over worked, exhausted HR champions who are currently holding it all together could be supported by the newly under-employed consultants and contractors who would make life so much easier for everyone. As these two groups of people most likely don’t know each other someone needs to step in and provide a facilitation service. Ideally that someone should be HRINZ, but as I mentioned in my last blog, we’re really not in a position to do so at the moment. As we’re an organisation of volunteers would any of you care to put your hand up to help with this? HRINZ can provide the means to do so; you just need to provide the willingness to make it happen.
It could take the form of a web-based database that HRINZ can create and manage on our website with a volunteer facilitator creating a simple matching or introduction register by collecting the needs of individual organisations and tracking down the expertise to deliver to these needs. What a great way to help!