Kindness and community spirit are just some of the terms we’ve come to embrace over the last few months as the world tackles the current Covid-19 crisis. And out of talks about a return to work and ‘normal’ life evolve many organisations are asking ‘What is ‘normal’?‘ Should we return to an ‘old’ way of working, recruiting and looking after our employees, or create something new, something it has been suggested that is ‘kinder’?
Suitably, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week which is running the hashtag #KindnessMatters. So how can organisations ensure they are supporting their employees, making themselves attractive to future candidates and find new ways to on-board staff?
Recognise anxiety and building resilience
With ‘around 60% of the UK’s population ha[ving] left the workplace to work from home’ [Finder.com, April 27, 2020] returning to work post-lockdown is bound to bring with it a range of questions and anxieties. It’s important to recognise these and work with your teams to manage a return to work. Leaders who embrace change, flexibility, and have open and honest conversations with their teams are likely to encourage trust, and staff loyalty. According to the recent Mercer report 61% of people trust their employer to look after their well-being, [yet] only 29% of HR leadership have a health and well-being strategy in place.
Earlier this year, 58% of organisations were redesigning their organisations to become more people-centric [Mercer report]. Employees who feel more valued are likely to invest in you as an organisation. Whilst, improving employee morale can help reduce staff turnover. Looking at how you onboard new members employees is also key – many new employees have had to start positions having only met their team online – As an employee how can you make the right impression online? Could this change how onboarding might look in the future? (see 5 ways to help you hire the right staff where we look at the importance of onboarding).
Assess productivity fairly
Two-thirds of employers have reported increased productivity for remote workers [Finder.com, April 27, 2020], perhaps challenging the original assumption that working from home would lead to a drop in productivity. However, there is a flipside, as a number of organisations, are looking into how they help employees avoid burnout as the lines between work and home life become more blurred [Harvard Business Review, April 2020]. This new ‘normal’ is likely to see more people working remotely: 71% of Millennials believe the office will be obsolete by 2030 [Austin Knight] but organisations will need to look how they build kindness and empathy into their business processes and tackle some of the biggest struggles this poses – loneliness, communication being just two [Buffer, April 2020].