Though we leaders across the corporate world have long recognized that our people’s wellbeing is a crucial factor, the COVID-19 pandemic has let us know how important really it is. During this tough time of the global pandemic, it has become a matter of survival for companies to prioritize the physical and mental wellbeing of their people, as protecting the workforce health and alleviating their stress have become two critical factors, for successful business operations. Balancing work and life, focusing on people’s health, safety, and well-being, are no longer separate entities but are all interconnected. The ideal workforce management program, in today’s corporate environment, establishes an inextricable link between the well-being of the workforce, at work and in our personal lives. At Etech, we have dove into different effective and proven ways of how to incorporate wellbeing into the workplace so that both our people and the organization can thrive, moving forward. In this blog, I will share a few of the most significant ways we have implemented creating this balance for our people.
Implementing Distributed Workforce Model is the Key
There was a significant uptrend in remote work, according to U.S. statistics, even before the COVID-19 pandemic started. A survey by FlexJobs showed that there was a remarkable increase in the number of people who globally preferred to work remotely – by 44% 5 years before the pandemic and almost by 91% in the past 10 years. Moreover, according to CNBC, 70% of the workforce worked remotely at least once a week worldwide. These insights pose a crucial question for organizations: Are they ready for the future transformation of a remote working style, globally?
Managing a distributed workforce comes with many unique challenges – people often feel lonely, there can be problems in collaboration and communication, as well as issues in unplugging or taking breaks, as needed. These are all great reasons it is crucial to implement the right workforce management strategies and tools which will decide the future of an organization. With the proper digital workforce management tools and an effective plan of action, organizations will be able to adapt to the new normal of 2021. Otherwise, it will be inevitable for companies to start seeing a slow business growth in the future.
Rapid Reskilling is the Need of the Hour
At Etech, we have noticed during this time that the workforce must understand how it is so important to build a learning mindset. Having this mindset will effectively prepare them for dealing with a constant, even often abrupt, changing business environment that now exists.
Today’s corporate world needs to be able to quickly adopt new and advanced technologies which can create new roles in the company, as needed. We have seen so many examples of this during the pandemic when changes in workloads have sometimes disturbed the balance of resource allocation. What can help here is reskilling and upskilling of your people which will help them easily move from one part of the business to another.
Communicating More is Important
Communication is very essential to maintain a diverse workforce. During this COVID-19 pandemic, when most of us are working from our homes, it’s necessary to let our people feel they are connected with the company, so they don’t feel disconnected and it doesn’t negatively affect their work. So the need of having frequent check-ins has increased significantly to ensure there is maximum consistency and as much transparency as possible.
Keeping the present uncertain economic situation in mind, it is important to have more frequent and personalized discussions with your workforce. Let them be in the loop and allow your people to be a part of the everyday decision-making process and they will thus feel valued and updated about what’s happening in the organization.
Also, the managers of your company must include more one-on-one assessments, using direct reports. It will ensure that your people will receive the help they need. Moreover, virtual meetings to gather ideas and ask questions should be one of the major elements of your workforce management strategy during this tough pandemic time. Typically, when a person in a team asks a question, often others have already thought of that question or concern also. So arranging such online meetups with your people will help the entire team to learn from the frequent flow of conversations.
Recognition Has Power
A distributed workforce is what organizations are encouraging now. While working remotely ensures people’s safety during the global pandemic, most of the time people working in one department of the company are not able to understand what steps the other departments are taking to help the organization. It is important that the workforce feel recognized for their valuable work and you need to ensure that the recognition is noticeable throughout the entire organization. It will help encourage great employee engagement and satisfaction.
Also, as your people are more likely to feel isolated and distanced from their work peers, in this work from home culture that exists today, consistently recognizing them will not only encourage the workforce to be there for the company but also for each other. Peer-to-peer recognition is what can be very effective in this scenario. So you need to promote recognizing your team’s accomplishments more and make it accessible to the whole company. The remote team members will be able to bond together during this stressful time of the COVID-19 pandemic if there is more peer-to-peer recognition in the form of shout-outs or virtual high fives.
With the existing virtual business environment and the wide acceptance of remote work globally, we are going to see a further increase in the distributed workforce model, reskilling of the workforce, focusing on the importance of communication and recognition within organizations. People Analytics and data-driven workforce management strategies and tools will play a significant role in building an agile workforce that is resilient to the continuously changing market today. So if you want to ensure success for your organization and maintain a competitive advantage in the years to come, implementing the right approach to manage your workforce will be crucial.