By Adam Booth
Over the past few months, our newsletter has been focused on covering the many aspects of returning to “normal” and what it will mean for your company moving forward. This month, we wanted to cover something that will undoubtedly be different from February 2020, the employee work experience. As devastating to many industries as the pandemic has been, it has given many others the chance to re-evaluate how their business is being run and what changes can and should be made. At a time where so many employees aren’t ready to leave home just yet, it’s paramount that what they are returning to is an invigorating experience.
While compensation matters, just offering good money and paid time off will not be enough to motivate the modern employee to return to the office and business as usual. Employees want to feel like they are a part of something special and not just another cog in the machine. They want an “experience”. Recognizing this, we here at LSI have amassed a few tips that we believe every leader should keep in mind as their employees start to return to the physical office.
- Listen to Feedback/Be Willing to Adapt
You do not need to have a playground slide between each floor or an actual craft beer bar in the breakroom to enhance your company culture (though I am not sure these would hurt). However, re-evaluating the current employee experience and seeing where changes are needed will be important in both bringing back employees, as well as attracting future hires. Do not be afraid to ask the source. Surveying your employees and listening to their feedback is a great way to determine where to focus your efforts, including which aspects may need a new shine. Doing so will give you a barometer for what needs to be done next.
- Develop A Growth Mindset
As mentioned earlier, it takes more than a new paint color in the breakroom to improve the employee experience. Employees want to be recognized for their uniqueness and contributions to the organization. Create an environment where learning and development are encouraged. Support your employees with regular feedback, coaching and developmental opportunities.
- Be Open to a New Way of Working
If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that work can be done from almost anywhere. Gone are the days of employees feeling tied to their physical office, desk and the dreaded commute. Remote working isn’t as inefficient as was once believed. There will be many employees who cannot wait to return to the office and others who are completely reluctant. We suggest that you allow your business needs to determine workplace flexibility and in some cases, companies may even want to consider a hybrid approach. This may go a long way towards employee retention.
By no means do you fundamentally have to change how your office is run or how your company runs its culture. But as employees evolve, businesses must do the same. Not everyone works just for a paycheck. The employees are returning soon, are you ready?