The Covid-19 pandemic required organizations to adapt quickly and change the way they operate.
Remote working and the resulting digitalization have led to significant shifts in workplace culture. Now that the dust is settling, what can you learn from this? What opportunities have opened up?
Here are some things to consider:
Learning From Covid-19: How Companies Can Improve Workplace Culture
As we adapt to the “new normal,” you should also take the opportunity to reimagine what’s possible and support the new opportunities by redesigning your workplace culture to increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction. Here are some key insights organizations can implement:
1. Refocus on Mission and Contribution
From healthcare workers to employees who work for manufacturers of items such as disinfectants and sanitizers, people are more motivated when they can connect their work contributions to a greater purpose.
Make sure your employees can clearly connect their job functions and team objectives to your organization’s mission and the impact that they create within the larger context. You can share your mission statement with your team, use it to reinforce employee communications, have discussions about what it means in today’s environment, and inspire pride in employees’ everyday activities.
2. Design Work Culture for Wellbeing
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing as workers battle stress and exhaustion while trying to balance professional and personal demands.
This highlights the need to incorporate wellbeing into every aspect of the work environment and culture. For example, by shifting focus from activities to outputs and building more flexibility into the workday, you can help employees optimize both their health and performance. You can also provide resources, such as educational materials or workshops, to help employees improve their health and wellbeing.
3. Implement a Data-Driven Approach to Workforce Management
The digitalization of the workplace has enabled businesses to collect more data about individual workers and analyze their performance.
A data-driven approach can help managers better understand each employee’s attributes, needs, and strengths to segment the workforce and assign the right tasks to the right people. You can use a workforce analytics software platform to leverage the data effectively to improve productivity and identify skill gaps.
You can also develop targeted programs to optimize each individual’s performance and help employees develop critical skills that can open up more opportunities for their career development.
4. Create Synergy Between Humans and Technologies
Through telemedicine, manufacturing, education, grocery delivery, and more, industries have experienced the power of integrated human-machine teams during Covid-19.
This highlights the value of creating synergy between human insights and technologies—instead of substituting employees with machines, companies should leverage technologies to augment output and enhance collaboration.
From AI-powered virtual agents that frees up employees to focus on complex tasks instead of fielding tedious inquiries to unified communications and collaboration platforms (e.g., Zoom, Slack), technologies can help employees become more productive, focus on meaningful work, and increase job satisfaction.
5. Build Resilience Against Uncertainties
During Covid-19, workers have demonstrated their resilience and adaptability by assuming new roles and contributing to new opportunities as businesses pivoted and adjusted to a new reality.
Organizations should continue to support employees to grow and adapt based on their potential, instead of assigning responsibilities solely based on existing skills, job titles, or certifications.
For example, you can offer training programs based on employees’ career goals and potential, encourage them to expand into new roles, and sponsor seminars to help them build new skills. This will create long-term benefits for the company as you build a workforce that can adjust to and thrive in today’s fast-evolving and constantly-changing business environment.
6. Increase the Flexibility of Your Workforce
Rapid changes in market demands during the pandemic highlighted the need for organizations to access workers with the right skills at the right time without the lengthy process or overhead costs associated with hiring full-time employees.
Meanwhile, the implementation of digital communication and collaboration platforms necessitated by the lockdown has set the stage for cost-effective remote collaboration, making it even easier to tap into a larger talent pool.
From online marketing professionals and graphic designs to mobile app and eCommerce site development, you can incorporate freelancers as part of the workforce to build flexibility into your resource allocation strategy.
Reimagining Work Culture in the Post-COVID Era
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed both weaknesses in our current work culture. However, it also exposes opportunities for reimagining the future of work in a dynamic business environment, which will put every organization’s adaptability and resilience to the test.
By blending people and technologies with a sense of purpose and the drive to discover possibilities, companies can build a sustainable work culture that will create meaningful changes for the future.
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