It's May 2020, and the world is facing a global health, economic and humanitarian crisis. Through the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of people are being asked to, and adjusting to working from home, some fascinating observations are already beginning to emerge.
Early research is showing that many firms are already reporting large surges in employee engagement - something most companies find pretty elusive at the best of times.
A great many ompanies who are treating their employees better than ever, seeking brilliant and engaging ways to connect with each and do great work when forced, almost overnight, to work as safely as possible from home, full time.
Most of us have dabbled in working from home from time to time, but never have we had such an opportunity to experience what would happen if almost everyone did so, and at the same time.
...and the results are pretty exciting
According to recent research,* since the almost global lock-down in late March 2020:
95% of senior leaders have demonstrated a sincere interest in employees well-being and safety
90% of people feel their organisational culture has improved
89% feel measures to ensure people feel supported at this time have been put in place
84% believe employee engagement at their firm has improved
79% believe it's more productive working from home
So what's behind these positive findings?
Companies who are seeing these kind of results are focusing on building a culture of trust, and have senior leaders and managers who are:
Communicating clearly with empathy, care and compassion
Telling the truth - sharing the good and bad news in a transparent way
Providing regular, frequent and timely updates to everyone
Holding higher quality, shorter meetings
Providing support, resources, tools and opportunities for all associates to adapt, grow and thrive in the unknown, constantly changing environment ahead
Fostering a deep sense of involvement and connection to achieving firm objectives and personal goals
Authentically listening to everyone in the organisation
Providing everyone with the opportunity to openly communicate and discuss their views
Encouraging contributions to help solve business challenges
How can I get started in improving how we communicate with each other ?
Companies who have great listening strategies all have a clear processes in place that allow them to regularly ask for feedback from everyone and then act on it, quickly.
Here are a few questions you could ask to get you started:
Find out about working life since lock-down
What is the one, most important thing we have done that has positively impacted you? Have you been able to access the work systems you need to do your job remotely? Do you have the best technology possible to enable you to do your job from home? Have our leaders and managers been visible and accessible to you? Have you received timely and transparent communication?
Ask what is needed in the "here and now" to improve things in the current climate
What do you need right now, and from who, to enable you to do your job more effectively? Can we provide any more support to enable you to demonstrate confidence and comfort with video conference and team collaboration technology? Do you have enough support from us to enable you to feel healthy and safe?
Check in for concerns, ideas and feedback about how things could be even better in the future
What concerns do you you have about how Covid-19 will impact you in the future that we can help answer? Do you feel we are making sufficient adjustments to deal with life post Covid-19? What are the positive outcomes from your new working environment that will enable us to operate even better than before? What ideas and suggestions do you have to help us cope well with uncertainty and constant change?
If you haven't already, now is the ideal the time to improve the way you communicate and listen to your people, to ensure everyone in your organisation feels engaged, connected and valued over the coming months ahead.
Discover help some of the world's leading organisations with their employee listening strategies. Please get in touch if you would like a chat.