Critical Aspects of People Management during the Pandemic Crisis - IOTA HRM Forum 2020

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The 2020 IOTA Human Resources Management Forum took place on 10th and 11th November, organised as a digital event as a combination of Plenary Sessions and Group Discussions. The main objective of this event was to explore best practices and forward-looking solutions in staff involvement, engagement and motivation during remote working and share practical knowledge in leadership and management during distant working.

The crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had severe impacts on all aspects of life, including worklife in both the public and private sectors. Just like other organisations, Tax Administrations also needed to respond swiftly to the challenges posed by the pandemic, such as working from home or the need to introduce digital solutions. IOTA’s second Forum on Human Resources Management in 2020 aimed at exploring all those innovative solutions applied by Tax Administrations that helped them cope with critical aspects of people management during the pandemic crisis.

During the two-day event, 70 registered participants from 30 IOTA Member Tax Administrations learnt about the following topics:

  • best practices and forward-looking solutions in staff involvement, engagement and motivation during remote working
  • practical knowledge in leadership and management during distance working (new competencies for managers, decision making, performance management, etc.)
  • best practices in staff engagement and leadership that are likely to remain or will be further developed after the pandemic

The Forum was opened by Mr. Frantisek Imrecze, Executive Secretary of IOTA, who said that ”The pandemic taught us how challenging it is to keep up the motivation and engagement of our teams, how challenging it is to manage teams (...) during the forced distant working.” The Forum further ellaborated on these questions as well.

The Thematic Plenary Session of the first day revolved around the theme ’Staff involvement, engagement and motivation during remote working’ and it comprised of three presentations. The first one of was given by Mr. Roman Bichevoy, Institutional Development Manager of IOTA, who spoke in details about how IOTA adapted to the remote work culture. The following presentation was from Gražina Mongirdienė from Lithuania, who presented her country’s experience about how to build trust, engagement and productivity in a team. The final prsentation during the day was from Kirsten Vanhoomissen from Belgium, who presented their experience of the evolution of learning and development during the pandemic. Presentations were followed by Q/A session, where participants could ask questions to speakers and provide their comments.

The Thematic Plenary Session of the second day was about ’Leadership and management during distance working’. Three speakers presented their administration’s experience on the topic of the session. Pirta Karlsson from Finland talked about new way of working in Finnish Tax Administration, specifically, renewal & self-directedness. Ioannis Lentas from Greece presented results of the survey on remote working that his administration conducted through the IOTA Technical Enquiry tool. Finally, Joanne Shelling from OECD/FTA presented their findings on several upcoming reports on HR and remote working, namely on Performance management and Gender balance. Similarly to the first day, this session was followed by a dynamic Q/A session.

The Plenary sessions during the first and the second day were followed by Group session, where registered participants could discuss hands on experiences and lessons learned in a group of 8-11 people.

The Forum was concluded by the Summary Plenary session, where participants discussed IOTA HRM Forum Mandate for 2021-2022,  the upcoming follow-up event of this Forum IOTA Webinar «Webinar on Implementing Culture of Change in Tax Administrations» and a dynamic Panel debate.


For more information about this event, including presentations, group session notes, poll questions results and more, please visit the HRM Forum 2020 event’s page on the IOTA website.