With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic being detrimental to the lives of millions of Americans across the country, it is imperative that employers keep their employees happy and safe. Employers will see a direct benefit in productivity and efficiency in their workforce, but can also feel content in knowing that they are able to support their employees during a difficult time.
What should an employer be prioritizing to be sure that he or she is supporting his or her employees as much as possible? The following is a list of priorities for managing employee experience in 2021.
1. Remote working and flexible work policies
Although vaccinations have started to roll out, remote culture looks like it will maintain some of its fixtures in the work culture permanently. According to Gartner, 63% of employers have remote workers at the moment and a survey of hiring managers reported that they expect up to 38% of their full-time employees to be working remotely in the next decade. As more organizations adopt a “remote-first,” flexible work environment, the importance of having thoughtful policies to guide how people work increases.” There will be an increased focus on how to use remote culture advantageously. By focusing on enhanced productivity, collaboration, and innovation it is possible to create an efficient remote work environment that employees can thrive in.
In addition, it is also important that employers maintain flexible work practices, especially when considering a return to the office, and when doing so offer flexibility regarding work location because a well-designed policy will benefit both employees and employers. A company that has led with a flexible model through the pandemic and post-pandemic is twitter. The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey announced through an email to his employees that Twitter is “serious about a distributed workforce, and [Twitter has] proved [it] can make it work... If you’re in a role and situation that enables you to work from home and you want to continue, do so…forever if you want!."
2. Culture of trust
With the pandemic putting employees and employers in a unique position to attempt primarily remote work for the first time, employers were forced to trust their employees in that there is a continuity from their work ethic in the office to the home. There are many ways to monitor the levels of productivity in the workplace including software, but research shows that with appropriate communication channels in place, employees apply the same levels of productivity and diligence at home as they were in the office. In addition, not all companies have the appropriate technology to track productivity. Instead of focusing on monitoring productivity, the greater challenges that seem to show positive results seem to be combating loneliness and isolation.
3. Mental health/Wellbeing
With the effects of the pandemic, physical health is being regarded at an all-time high. However, just as important is a focus on mental health on the overall well-being of an employee. Building well-being initiatives into the workplace will be an essential method in demonstrating an employer’s commitment to employees’ health and safety. In turn, this is also a great way to attract and retain talent within the company. When an organization pledges support to their employees’ well-being (physical health, mental health, financial well-being, social well-being, and occupational well-being) there is a strong ROI in their investments.
4. Focus on IT
IT played a critical role in the switch from working in the office to remote work, but there will only be continued pressure placed on IT to create a better employee experience in 2021-- by attempting to cut spending and work out better solutions using existing software. With these requirements, IT will need to work out ways to incorporate elements such as information gathering, security, and social collaboration.
5. Automation overdrive
As remote working becomes the norm, organizations are looking to implement software and technologies that support the employee when the employer is not physically present. The software will be used to communicate with workers about any health, leave, or work-related issues, while the employee is still able to maintain the same levels of confidentiality in the services, and the employer is able to gather precise and clear data to analyze and work on. 2021 will bring organizations to use shorter, more frequent, targeted surveys. However, greater deployment of feedback mechanisms creates high failure rates as the organization deploys initial surveys without considering what they are measuring for and how they will review and action results.
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 organizations to leverage the data collected abundantly but if done right can turn into a long-lasting opportunity to keep your employees intact and keep the revenue bar up and running. Your employees can express their opinions through the surveys and provide suggestions for improvement.
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