Archived Insight | June 29, 2020

Priorities in Focus: Your COVID-19 Response Framework

Organizations of every stripe — corporations, institutions of higher education, the public sector entities — are struggling to manage COVID-19’s disruptions to daily life.

We’ve created a series of COVID-19 response frameworks to help you prioritize your workforce responsibilities for today, tomorrow and beyond.

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Get the framework for corporations

While some organizations rely on their business continuity plans and emergency response and disaster recovery processes, all appreciate, at one level or another, that this pandemic has raised issues not even the best-laid plans could have foreseen.

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Get the framework for colleges and universities

To help you prioritize the plethora of HR management and employee benefit issues the crisis has raised, we've developed this framework for colleges and universities to serve as a practical guide for your workforce priorities.

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Get the framework for the public sector

Public sector employers and plan sponsors are facing COVID-19’s profound disruption to everyday life often without much of a safety net.

Many public sector workers — including police, fire and other public safety officers — do not have the option to do their jobs from home.

These workers form the backbone of communities’ service functions, continuity plans, and emergency response and disaster recovery processes. Even as these services continue, it is clear that this pandemic has raised issues not even the best-laid plans could have foreseen.

Here's where we can help. This COVID-19 response framework serves as a practical guide for your workforce priorities.

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Want a walkthrough?

One of our consultants can take you through the framework, page by page, and answer any questions. 

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Three stages, three stakeholders

Our framework consists of three interconnected stages that represent the time frames of an organization or institution’s response to the pandemic: now, soon and future.

The ambiguous nature of the time frames gives you the freedom to define the specifics appropriate for your organization or institution.

For example, priorities grouped in the “now” time frame might need to be addressed this week for a small start-up business, or this semester if you’re a large university.

Much remains unknown about the length of this crisis, but we’re already seeing it impact different industries and geographic areas in different ways, which makes any “one-size-fits-all” specific time horizon useless.

We also help you define success in meeting these priorities from the perspectives of three different stakeholders:

  • the enterprise or organization as a whole,
  • its people collectively,
  • the individual employee, faculty or staff member.

Successful HR management understands how to balance and address the different needs and perspectives of these three vital stakeholders.

How to define success with this framework

You’re facing a variety of challenges, from adapting to new legislation to rethinking your remote work policy and more, but all of these issues have clear definitions of success.

This framework helps you recognize that success from the perspective of the three stakeholders (the enterprise, people, and the individual) during each time frame, as shown below.


  • Enterprise or organization: Be prepared to address the immediate needs of the business or institution and its people.
  • People: The people trust that their organization’s leadership will chart the right path for them.
  • Individual: Individual employees, faculty or staff feel physically and emotionally safe.


  • Enterprise or organization: Leadership of the enterprise is clear on various business scenarios, their key trade-offs and their internal and external risks.
  • People: The people are productive and proud of the organization’s response to the crisis.
  • Individual: There is an appropriate level of transparency about the individual’s role during the crisis and the near-term job security.


  • Enterprise or organization: The enterprise has what it needs to craft and execute a re-imagined business plan or/and operational model.
  • People: There is a clear understanding of leadership’s decision-making process and long-term outcomes.
  • Individual: Individuals understand how the macro effects of the crisis will impact their future at the organization and their career trajectories.

The HR and benefits topics we cover

Each phase identifies the key HR and benefit issues for you to consider, which fall into the following broad categories:

Have a question about a specific category? Get in touch.

We work with people like you.

We’ve assembled teams of almost every stripe to help a wide range of industries. 

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This page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or investment advice. You are encouraged to discuss the issues raised here with your legal, tax and other advisors before determining how the issues apply to your specific situations.