We are better together, even in quarantine

Posted on May. 1, 2020  /  State Council Director Message  /   0

As you know, Governor Ige has extended the stay at home mandate through the end of this month with gradual re-opening of recreation areas and businesses. I’ve started to think about what I’ve learned as a remote worker and how this experience has affected me as an HR Professional.

  • Virtual meetings are now the new norm. It has changed the way I prepare for meetings and what is needed to communicate using different software platforms.


  • A deeper appreciation for First Responders. Like HR Professionals, First Responders are sometimes the first and last to provide care. We have seen First Responders cheering on patients as they leave the hospital after recovering from COVID-19. Care in many aspects, requires empathy and patience. When we are able to connect to others in a caring manner, we see the beauty of human beings coming together with one purpose, to recover and make a difference!


  • Working remotely provides additional challenges with interpersonal communications. As we are not able to gauge body language, I am learning to improve my listening skills, to take the words employees are communicating and to try to ascertain where they are coming from.


  • EAP can be a lifesaver! With over 30% of our population unemployed, employees and their family members are being impacted at every level. Though we may still be working, our employees represent family members who are not. Helping our employees and family members get through this time will help our economy get back on its feet.


  • Social Distancing not Social Isolation. Isolation is a real phenomenon with COVID-19.   I haven’t met a person who is thrilled to be working from home – if you are one of them, a big kudo to you! I miss my colleagues and I miss connecting!      


As we all work towards re-opening our businesses, policies and guidelines are being implemented and employee communications are on-going. We realize that more than ever before, ‘WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER’ and will look at our world, country and communities with different lenses.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we have a lot to look forward to! We have a new SHRM Website that has been a dream of ours for many years. The SHRM Hawaii Education Foundation continues to provide our members with value added information transitioning from in person meetings to webinar opportunities.  And we also look forward to Johnny C. Taylor, CEO of SHRM who will be joining us at our annual SHRM Hawaii State Conference on October 2nd.

Keep on being an inspiration, mover and shaker and strategic partner in your organization! Wishing you continued safety and health!





Naomi Ahuna, SHRM-SCP
2020 SHRM Hawaii State Council Director

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