What does the future of work look like amid the changes we faced in the workplace due to COVID? During our latest webinar with moderator Lotus Buckner, LB Talent Solutions, and panelists Joe Marino, Hueman People Solutions; Elaine Johnson, Guidewell; and Deepak Singh, Amazon, we aimed to answer this question.
Joe Marino, EVP at Hueman People Solutions, set the stage for discussion: “We’re creating a draft plan of what we’re going to be doing for returning to the office.” In this age of uncertainty, flexibility was a key theme throughout the discussion.
The candid conversation left us with three key takeaways that can help ensure success as we think about the future of work:
- Effective communication between employers and their employees
- Elevating culture in a remote environment
- Reassessing a company’s value proposition to meet the needs of an ever-changing talent market
Effective communication with employees
Companies are currently facing the changes that come with the lingering effects of the pandemic. In the words of Elaine Johnson, Principal in Corporate Development and Strategic Investments for Guidewell, “The three key tools for change are as follows: communicate, communicate, communicate.”
Effective communication and developing an understanding of employee needs go hand-in-hand. Deepak Singh, Sr. Practice Manager for the Federal Financials at Amazon Web Services (AWS), shared that Amazon distributes a daily pulse survey to gauge happiness and satisfaction amongst its employees.
Joe elaborated, “At Hueman, it’s important that employees feel safe having candid conversations with their managers. With this practice, we reduce turnover and build trust.”
The importance of culture in a remote environment
When evaluating culture, Elaine suggested that employers take on the perspective of a job seeker by asking questions that align with employee engagement in an organization:
- Why would I come?
- Why should I stay?
- Why should I choose to develop and grow in the organization?
How do employers solve for these questions? For one, company culture statements must be clear and well stated. Deepak shared, “Our perspective is to be flexible and thoughtful in how we bring people together.” The philosophy: employees are more engaged when they feel that their employer truly understands their needs and creates opportunities that accommodate them. Joe noted, “Culture does not mean we have to be together in the physical sense.”
The reality is that the remote conversation is not relevant for all employees, as some jobs require on-site work. “It’s important that we talk about doing what’s right for each group while also acknowledging our privileges regardless of who we are,” Lotus shared while speaking on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, providing employees with clear channels of support offers a safe space for interaction.
Re-defining a value proposition that matches the talent market
In the next year, 1 in 4 workers are prepared to seek opportunities with a new employer, meaning companies must define a value proposition inclusive of the current workforce. “Not only do we now have a concern over culture, but also evolving a business model to create a new value proposition for everyone,” Deepak explained.
As Gen Z enters the workforce, the baby boomers are exiting, and the workplace expectations for the two generations drastically differ. “How do we make work defined so that it may attract certain segments of the population that we need to keep in the workforce?” Elaine posed. One answer: allowing for flexible opportunities in when work gets done, where work gets done and how work gets done.
Connect with us on social media for updates on upcoming discussions and new content as we continue to evaluate the future of work by clicking the buttons at the bottom of this page!