Covid19 pandemic changed everything around us. The way we live, the way we think, and the way we plan our future. The kind of uncertainties this pandemic has brought along is affecting our day-to-day lives and especially businesses and economical aspects. One of the major things that changed about our working lives is not going to the offices anymore. Initially, it may have appeared to be a blessing in disguise, but as time is passing by it is raising some major concerns and one of them is about how companies are planning to keep up with the employee experience? Employee experience as explained byGallup, “is the journey an employee embarks upon with your organization.” And further adds that Employee experience is basically the sum of how employees experience their workplaces, which includes their daily interactions with the rest of the organization, from the time they join the company and till their last day with the company. Covid19 has affected this one fact, and it has significantly changed the entire definition of how companies deal with EX now without employees actually being present in the offices.
While the world is still slightly struggling to get back on its feet, most of the businesses had completely reimagined how they would function. Consistency and predictability went out the window and fell head over heels. Mostly nobody knows what to expect next, there are however speculations about how the market will bounce back or how it will regain its past glory.
A recent Gartner study found 64% of HR leaders prioritize the employee experience in terms of returning to the workplace even more than they did before COVID-19.
Employee experience is no longer subjected to employees going to the office and becoming a part of pre-existing ex programs. Pandemic has changed its attributes. Since employees had to pivot working from home and interact mostly through Video conferencing and other digital channels, one thing to remember here is that along with the workspaces, schools, preschools and other childcare facilities were also closed. This means an increased workload on individuals since now they have to manage their work and their school-aged children who are with them at home, both hand in hand.
Honestly working from home has somewhat blurred the work and personal life boundaries and it is leading to more exhaustion and burnout. Managing both home and work is not easy especially when your kids need your equal and in fact undivided attention round the clock.
According to a report published by McKinsey, “the return phase of the COVID-19 crisis is a good time for organizations to create more tailored responses to workplace challenges, expanding on the goodwill and camaraderie earned in earlier phases.”
Since the pandemic affected the world, most of the companies outperformed in addressing their employee needs, health and safety. Ensuring financial stability and job security for their employees was one of their key focus areas. However, now the employee needs are evolving with each passing day, they require a more tailored approach as companies begin to enter the next phase.
It’s also only fair to put up this question of why even companies should focus on the employee experience right now when there are so many other issues to contend with. And the biggest one could be shouldn’t companies be focusing on containing costs instead to ensure they’ll recover from pandemic coercion?
Securing finances and coming up with better ideas to cope up with what’s ahead of us is important, however, it is also critical for companies to focus on improving the employee experience too. In fact, it is more important than ever to shift focus on EX.
In a research published by Mckinsey, they talked about how leaders can take practices steps to support employees through the upcoming phases of this global crisis:
· As a leader, you’ve had to make sweeping changes in recent months to address your employees’ most pressing needs, and your workforce thinks your instincts were probably right. Build on the trust and affiliation you’ve earned by continuing to be present, action-oriented, empathetic, and fully transparent.
· In addition to basic needs (safety and security), three other experience themes (trusting relationships, social cohesion, and individual purpose) are having a disproportionate impact on employee well-being and work effectiveness. Enable improvements in those areas by prioritizing actions that will address a broad set of needs for the majority of your workforce.
· Changes are hitting your people in widely diverging (and sometimes unexpected) ways. Some are struggling, and some are thriving. Use a combination of science, technology, data, and analytics to segment your employees like you would your customers and tailor interventions to support them in personalized and meaningful ways.
According to Global Industry Analyst Josh Bersin, “we’re in a time called “The Big Reset,” which can be defined as a time where we must rethink our expectations, priorities, how we spend our time, and what we know about work, life, business, and leadership” He further adds, “You can reset trust in your company, defining the concept as made up of ethics, competence, and voice”. It is important for companies to maintain an empathetic approach and conduct towards all their employees working from home. A fully transparent approach from the companies will help keep employees engaged and help them battle this crisis.
Check for each other’s well being
Companies that take care of their employee’s well-being have more engaged employees. Putting efforts in checking up on each other, organizing one on one sessions to make sure everyone’s doing fine should be included in HR strategies to engage with employees. This will help keep employees energized and stress-free because they are able to share what’s going on in their daily lives and the comforting factor that you care about them. According to Mercer, energized employees are four times more likely to report they work in a healthy, flexible, and inclusive workplace.
Ensure a regular feedback and engagement session with employees
Since face-to-face interaction is only limited to organized video conferencing and it’s hard to judge employee emotions sitting on the other side of the screens, it is important for the management or the superiors to ask employees to provide their feedback or suggestion. This will help organizations to make improvements in their EX programs and to understand whether or not their Employee engagement activities are doing any good. While 48 percent of executives say employees’ well-being is a top concern, only 29% of HR leaders have created a health and well-being strategy.
At Dropthought we believe that to build a sustainable relationship with an Employee, we must value their feedback. We believe in building a situation-based and feedback-centric employee engagement plan that will not only help businesses to leverage the data collected abundantly but also if done right this can turn into a long-lasting opportunity to keep your employees intact and keep the revenue bar up and running.