The past months have been unprecedented, we have all faced rough weather as individuals or organizations before, but COVID-19 unleashed a never-before-like scenario. Many things that we took for granted in the past have now reemerged with renewed importance. One such aspect is - human connection.
How do organizations really answer, “Does my company care about me?” The feeling of being a minor cog in a complex machine has been a quintessential question, and a pandemic that put our lives on a halt just added many more dimensions to that.
It is not without reason that the pandemic is considered a Black Swan event. No one has experienced anything like it before and the future is unfolding much faster than any looking glass can predict. People leaders are faced with the predicament to ensure all employee needs are addressed while ensuring other stakeholders including customers are engaged. So, how do we marry the human connect with the overall business growth?
Even if the task at hand looked Herculean, it was not impossible to achieve. Just a few reminders and we can safely set sail into the ‘Next Normal’.
Communication as key to building connect
Building a stronger employee connection is key for any organization that understands the fact that people are its truest power. Setting various channels to regularly connect with employees is essential to giving and receiving feedback and information sharing. Various crucial moments during the transition to the new normal demanded a different, more personal approach. Statistics indicate that employee satisfaction increases by almost 50 percent when employees connect better with their teams and organizations. Mindful communication, mentorship programs, buddy at work initiatives create a positive impact. Deeper engagement and transparent communication help improve the employee experience and overall performance in the long term.
Investing in both career and personal wellbeing
Creating various platforms to help employees develop their full potential and providing the right mentoring to ensure they overcome limiting barriers, helps in moving forward as a healthy profitable organization. Investing in employees’ training and professional development also helps increase the motivation to achieve. Not just that, initiatives that provide a holistic perspective to wellbeing also work remarkably well, when there is a growing physical disconnect from the workplace. Regular rewards and recognition to mark the contribution of individuals and teams that create a difference is a proven morale booster. Providing support for the physical, social, mental and financial goals of employees helps create a more robust and resilient workforce.
Proactive support to resolving employee concerns
The current situation is a time to show that you care and taking care of employee concerns eventually pays off. It may sound cliche but if employees are not taken care of, how would they take care of the organization’s clients? Encouraging employees to speak, air concerns, and offering genuine responses/ resolutions is a healthy form of proactive care that helps solve issues before they snowball into major concerns. Not all problems will have solutions and most employees will appreciate it if we are upfront about them with what can be supported and what cannot be. Empathy and genuineness of intent is what matters most.
Benefiting the whole community
Without letting challenging times stop us, when organizations along with their people come together for the greater good, there is an overall positive ecosystem created. Employees and leaders can join hands to build a more sustainable world around us by working in line with the organization’s goals and giving back to society.
Programs that enhance the idea of “care” as a concept help construct a direct bridge between employees and leaders and encourage employees to put their interests, skill-sets, and time to create sustainable communities in the long run. Initiatives that encourage employees to “share” in times of crisis and provide them with opportunities to make the most of their skills pave the way to bring about positive changes in the right direction.
‘Care for People’ is a philosophy that organizations need to embrace while reflecting on how best we can live the ‘New Normal’ while navigating towards the ‘Next Normal’ to create a safe, productive, and mutually advantageous workplace.