There’s a difference between what leadership believes employees want and what employees really want. And that’s not forgetting the new hybrid working system, Working from home raises more questions about what employees really want from a workplace. So what defines a great place to work for your workforce?
Google was one company that changed how we perceived the workplace, perhaps they weren’t the first though they certainly were forward-thinking in culture and how to engage employees. But having a pool table or a bar isn’t what truly affects and engages the workforce. It’s about shared values, not an over-simplified version of what a good workplace is. Your workforce doesn’t want to play pool and drink at the bar. It isn’t necessarily productive, ideas that management often believe their staff want, but moves towards better working conditions such as flexibility, inclusion and Working From Home is a model that has come sooner than expected but was on its way to become the new norm.
Last year, an overwhelming 44% of the US workforce were working from home and 33% of the population were not working which therefore means that the majority of people are working from home – and that means a change in thinking is needed. Furthermore, a stated they were working from home and it now seems that with new strains and an ever-changing world, this may well continue for many years to come. Adapting to current situations is a matter of course in any industry. Evolve or die. Employee attitudes have changed. Giving suitable options
Showing you are an employer that values flexibility, particularly in new working environments and working from home, it’s clear that while some people can manage the situation very well and juggle their hair-brained lives and children with serious meetings, others find it difficult to connect over zoom and find it difficult to engage. It’s vital for managers and leaders to understand flexibility to ensure trust and cater to individual’s needs – which means best practise.
“There are strategic imperatives to unlock employee potential and improve engagement, retention, productivity and quality of output. “But it is absolutely in the interests and wants of your workforce to have flexible working conditions , we are humans after all.
But does this flexibility and hybrid model create a two tier system that speaks to those in positions where computers and zoom meetings can aid in efficiency whereas some industries and employees enjoy their job less and disengage.
Work Life Balance
Working from home has highlighted the need for flexible working conditions and is now expected from your workforce. An optimal work-life balance is a good sign of a flexible working culture. The pandemic has made workforces, across the globe, perceive their work as less important . What hybrid work allows for is a better work-life balance, at least that is what is believed by many. But contrary to what many perceive as less productivity, there has been an increase in the average length of t a normal working day.
Overall, despite a more ‘homely’ environment, a working day can be longer as emails and zoom chats can become active during the later hours. It’s believed that for younger workers, managing a better divide between work and a personal life can help in the transition, particularly for digital natives, and often gen Z.
This will continue to play a key role in how Leaders show their workforce clear goals and make sure their staff believe their work directly aids success for the company. Without a shared sense of purpose, there is a lack of direction and motivation. How a member’s work is linked to goals is vital – it should be clear for your workforce how their work links to wider goals.
With such flexibility, this can heighten jealousies as employees see different standards for different employees so therefore, maintaining consistency and openness and transparency, while protecting data* will ensure that fairness remains a top priority. If this culture prevails, it will engender positive and higher productivity *. An open culture can help employees engage with those in their team and also across departments. But if this culture is not ‘believed’, it could have the opposite effect.
There are many benefits to being open and honest as a workplace and seeing it as a risky strategy does not help anyone. Communication and sharing of ideas can enhance an employee’s experience and indeed work. Not only can it also engage your employees but improve relations in-house and also at a customer level and this will create a better environment in which to work that will also reap great rewards.
Diversity is fast becoming an area that shows the true colours of an organisation. Statistics relating to this often don’t tell the whole story and can seek to create a perception of truth but this does nothing for an organisation or emplloyees who can be let down and even leave due to an untruthful culture. And doesn’t this speak to untruths. Honesty in such statistics is important when creating a workplace that the workforce can be proud to work at.
For leaders, prioritizing learning and development can help to promote positive ideas and engage the workforce. It’s vital that Leaders and Managers are aligned to what the workforce expects and looks for in an employer. Working From Home has brought with it a desire, and expectation for flexibility and more of a work-life balance. But with a new hybrid working model, there has been many complex challenges which has also created more questions than answers. However, in a more modern world, the workforce is looking more towards newer working models offering higher engagement and a more open, meaningful relationship with employees and their work. It’s time for management and leaders to embrace the change.
For a free consultation, go to www.raplqa.com or call (02) 8667 0783. Rapl will help your business with tailor-made services for your business that will increase productivity, efficiency, and improve your bottom line.