Top Banana shares how employee engagement has evolved over the past year and the key trends that will emerge post-Covid….
We might be gearing up to a post-pandemic world, but what we’ve experienced over the last 12 months has impacted us far beyond face masks and social distancing. It’s evolved us as people, reset our priorities and changed our everyday lives more than we could have ever imagined. We’re not just going to bounce back to where we were before and act as if nothing has happened – we have evolved as employees, as businesses and as people. Here’s what to look out for over the next phase of transition from Covid to the new ‘normal’…
Office Culture > Remote Culture
It’s fair to say that Teams, Yammer and Workplace have saved our bacon these last 12 months. Many larger corporations with multiple office locations and remote workers were already well equipped with these internal social channels, however, the rest of us have had to quickly adapt and find a new way of keeping internal culture alive. While businesses have created beautiful culture campaigns and initiative’s to keep us all united, the organic culture of an office was a hard one to replace. However, we’ve done a pretty good job of taking our companies online, and in fact, like the WhatsApp groups we all love – it hasn’t been so hard to get used to! This digital-savvy workforce is accustomed to online chats and mobile messaging – and for many, it’s a more streamlined way of working that allows instant connectivity to co-workers, no matter where they are in the world – this one here to stay!
Internal Vs External Comms > One Voice
The pandemic has allowed for openness that many companies weren’t comfortable with before and that’s become apparent in both their internal and external comms. There’s been a thin line between internal and external for a while, as brands have increasingly looked towards being more transparent and open with their consumers and employees. But if it was thin before, it’s close to none existent now. Over the pandemic, brands have learnt that their people are their voice, that without them they cannot function and only with them can they succeed. The idea that people are your brand is going to reign heavy from here on out, and businesses will find more freedom in communications – not hiding behind corporate or protected words, but leading with human, honest and open communications to their employees and customers alike.
Work in an office > Work anywhere
Work is no longer exclusively done on your company PC. We are past a point of digital limitations, working anywhere on any device with the freedom to decide how you work best is common practice and with the integration of tools like Teams; we can be editing a PPT, sat in a meeting and sharing content all from the comfort of our mobile devices whilst on a train if needed! This liberation away from our office desktop PCs means that employees can find more balance and be on the go whilst keeping tabs at work, it allows us to have greater control over how we work and for employers, means they can cast the net wider for recruitment knowing they can have remote workers around the country that will be able to engage with the company and work in the same way as their local office-based employees. It’s a win-win!
Corporate training > Engaging learning
If threes one thing that’s gone thanks to COVID-19, it’s death by PowerPoint. It was already on its way out, but thanks to some serious Zoom fatigue – we now know for certain that there is nothing worse than being spoken at from the other side of a computer for four hours. We have become accustomed to a higher level of engagement over the pandemic and as remote working and virtual training is likely to move on into the future, how we deliver this information is going to change too. From the client events we are already doing now – corporate learning and teaching are becoming engaging training that employees care about; with multiple innovative sessions that break down content and excite employees as well as educate them.
Employees are workers > Employees are people
The pandemic has not left anyone un-scathed. For the first time since WW2, we are all united in one experience that the whole world has had to fight through, and knowing this is bringing wellbeing, mental health and recognising that people need time to heal to the forefront of business communications. The future is human, businesses will be led by psychological analysis that looks at employees as people. Understanding them is priority number one and ultimately, this will drive leadership, communication and strategy.
Work life balance > Work life integration
Work-life balance has been the buzzword for the last five years, but with the pandemic hurtling us into home working, it’s been taken up a notch. We’ve proven we can do it, even with toddlers crawling around our feet during meetings and dodgy wifi networks – businesses have moved online and people have worked as hard as they ever have, all from their kitchen tables whilst homeschooling during lunch. That being said, many want an office culture and people interaction, so the future is likely to be a reflection of just that. Flexi working where we can say where and when we’re coming into the office, but importantly – when and where it suits our lives. The trust companies have in staff to manage their time in this way has skyrocketed, and although it may take longer for some business than others – the future is definitely all about choice!