The Covid-19 pandemic is responsible for numerous changes around the world including how we socialize, travel, work and educate our children. Businesses almost overnight embraced digital transformation which was long overdue for many. A study by McKinsey & Company reported that digital transformation has expedited by seven years in a matter of months.
With digital transformation gaining top priority, one factor that continues to concern organisations is employee experience and ensuring that it remains positive. While business leaders realised early on that the safety of employees is paramount, the second wave of pandemic confirmed that embracing the new normal is not enough, being an active part of is inevitable and only way towards success.
While employees all over the globe are preparing to adjust and integrate with the shifting work cultures, there are a few things organisations can do to enable a better employee experience and maintain enhanced productivity:
Communication is the key to engagement
One of the most important areas that needs to be relooked at is communication channels. Organisations must ensure that employees and other stakeholders are able to communicate effectively, in real time, and without interruptions. Today, communications must surpass the professional obligation and touch the personal lives of employees to build healthier relationships.
Leaders that foster a sense of social belonging will be better placed to provide an enhanced employee experience and promote a balanced culture. Creating a healthy work environment entails a plethora of minor but critical components. Proactive communication is essential followed with inclusion. An inclusive culture that values individuality is critical for a positive work experience. This can be achieved by forming cross-functional teams and cultivating a sense of inclusion and psychological closure.
Lead with Empathy and Passion
A 'supportive management' style that imparts care, respect and value to employees and seek continuous feedback from them, is cornerstone of future of work. In these dynamic times, leaders must lead by example, where they not only measure progress but also fuel productivity by ensuring that employees feel supported and cared for by their organization. At Commvault, our employee assistance program (EAP), a free platform of resources, is available to employees 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist with a wide range of issues whether it is work-related, financial, mental or legal, marital etc.
Additionally, organisations must encourage open communication and transparency to ensure that employees have visibility into what is going on in their organisation, especially when they are working from home. Instilling a sense of belonging and pride will enable employees to positively embrace the change.
Wellness at the core
A holistic strategy focusing on employees’ health and wellness will be crucial to a productive workforce. It’s time for leaders to build a better connection with employees, identifying when they are struggling and providing them with the desired resources. To better support our Commvault employees and their families during this pandemic, we’ve launched several initiatives such as, exclusive covid leaves for self and family care, financial aids through salary advancements and loans, home care reimbursements and sponsored vaccination drives for the whole family. We are also rolling out a doctor on call facility and doorstep delivery of medicines to employees across India very soon.
By strengthening the sense of safety and security amongst employees, organizations can not only gain employee trust and survive the crisis but also emerge with a competitive advantage.
Technology as an enabler
Implementing new technologies that enables interaction between employees working from anywhere will enhance teamwork and partnership. An investment in a good collaboration tool and establishing a two-way communication will go a long way in ensuring that employees are fully represented.
As businesses transition deeper towards the new normal, technology will play a critical role in delivering future employee experiences. Although leveraging technology to boost employee wellness is not a new idea, organisations need to keep investing in latest cognitive and technical capabilities to help ease the transition. For instance, at Commvault, we provided our employees with free access to Gympass, an online array of wellbeing apps and Ergology assistance to reduce any occupational hazards and support them with necessary resources while they’re working from home.
Invest in training
While preparing a future ready workforce one cannot ignore the importance of skill development and training. However difficult it may seem, try and make room for your employees’ knowledge and skill upgradation. Use of data to find gaps for skills and training is now common practice in large organisations. Organisations must invest in nurturing future leaders who can anticipate the business requirements.
To create a balance in a diverse workforce which comprises non-traditional workers like freelancers, consultants, contingent workers and part-time employees, training is crucial to keep them together.
One of the best lessons that the pandemic has taught us is that a firm’s most critical asset are its people. In this time of crisis, organisations must reimagine their approach towards ensuring that employees’ voice is being heard and their inputs are valued.
Embracing change could have been an option for many in the past but the current scenario demands agile and resilient business philosophies. Leaders who successfully blend people and technology, even in the most dynamic business environment, will be the ones to witness growth and innovation and ultimately, emerge a winner in this digital era.