Covid19 has brought about the biggest industry change for decades, if not ever. Whilst this has presented many challenges it also has raised a number of opportunities and changes that can be adapted to what was the perceived norm.
In this blog I will be looking at how both companies and their employees have embraced this in a positive and proactive manner and how this can be continued in the post pandemic era.
THE VERSALITY OF EMPLOYEES:
The pandemic has confirmed that during difficult times, solidarity is still here and key. Within the work environment, team spirit and solidarity has increased since the start of the crises which has been a very positive thing to observe.
This has been possible thanks to the adaptability and the open-mindedness of employees. Those who were adaptable, helpful and able to think outside of the box will be the ones remembered when going back to normal business.
Some will also have learnt new skills or have experienced a complete change of career and actually enjoy it. 24 % of the UK Workforce are learning new skills according to the Open University. Either to use them within their current company because their role and responsibilities had to change or to guard against Covid19 uncertainty.
We can consider these different facts as very positive and also see that those who have been put on furlough, rather than having their contract terminated, already have shown a very strong trust and commitment to their company. And we can be confident this will continue post Covid19.
EMPLOYERS: ADAPTABILITY, CARE AND TRUST
Employers… Well done! You had to reinvent the way you worked and collaborated with your employees, clients, partners, from one day to another without warning.
You also had to put a lot of trust in your employees which isn’t always easy but it is key for a sane and efficient work environment and will be the way forward.
And you had to be inventive and creative in trying to keep your employees motivated, promoting team spirit through daily catch ups, virtual games, drinks, lunches, etc…
Most importantly, you had to do all of this while taking care of your employees from distance. Most certainly more than you ever did and in a different way, by checking their well-being and mental-health. You had to be more vulnerable and empathetic through those difficult times.
According to a survey, over a quarter (28%) of employers have taken action to measure their employees anxiety during the current period and a further 47% are planning or considering to do so.
Considering we spend most of our life at work, care and trust should have always been included in the work environment. This crises will have positively and consequently change our view and comportment regarding those topics, which is one of the biggest positives to take and keep whilst coming out of this difficult situation.
HOW TO KEEP THE POSITIVES ?
We are now starting to go back to the office, so it’s time we think about how we will keep the positives we have created during the pandemic. This will be the responsibilities of both the employers and employees, as it has been since the start.
Going back won’t look like the traditional way or the way we knew before all of this. However, it is an opportunity for all to be more agile and technically based in the future.
As said before, vulnerable and empathetic leadership has been a key part of the company’s success through the COVID19 crises and could be the new type of leadership going forward. But this isn’t it, here are some ideas on how to keep the positives or integrate them to your work environment when going back to business:
- Keep looking after your employees : check on them regularly, ask them how they feel about going back to the office, propose support on mental health, podcast, application on wellbeing, etc…
- Help your employees cope with stress: some companies have started offering their employees on a regularly basis free lunches, snacks, virtual gym memberships, content posts, rewards, etc…
- Keep trusting your people: Keep working in a more flexible way, with employees more tech savvy and with more informal communication. You can’t control everything and trust is key in flexible working.
- Utilise tech : Keep using technology and understand how to make the most of them : meeting design, diversity inclusion, etc…
- People culture : company culture will be a big part of your employees engagement, think about implementing surveys to know which areas to work on, HR professionals can help you implement a real culture within your work environment to keep your people engaged and motivated even when working from home.
- Policies : Review policies around how to work, accommodate people who need more flexibility and also around health (mental and physical) and wellbeing.
In conclusion, even if it has been and it still is difficult for a lot of people, it’s important to try and see the positives that have been created through this crises. By studying how companies and employers have been reacting, we realise that those positives have been mostly around the human and their well-being, even at work.
As we won’t be able to all go back to the office, or going back as it was, keeping humans together, and the team spirit, motivation and engagement high is and will be key. To do that, you might need help from Human resource or people culture professionals.
HR Revolution would love to help you work on your “after COVID19” or “Positive future” plan, or whatever you would like to call it. Please don’t hesitate to contact us as we can assist you with this. The well being of our clients and their employees is what matters to us.
If you would like to discuss any HR issues that you might have, particularly those you may have at this challenging time, please get in touch with the team. Call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org