I attended an event recently where the speakers shared how organizations must review compensation, develop a work schedule that allows for flexibility and look at benefits offered and revise these to what the post Covid workforce desires it to be. This will aid in attracting talent! The experts are not wrong – compensation matters, benefits matter, and flexibility matters. The truth for business owners and people leaders is that if staff don’t like where they work, then compensation, benefits and flexibility do not matter as much because they will leave anyway.
There are so many variables in a team. We must be mindful of the generational gap; the life experiences and personal situations others find themselves in and be aware of the importance of how psychological safety fosters an environment where all team members feel inclusive. This is a lot to take in when leading a team or organization. Have we got the skills ourselves to manage the same workforce under these new circumstances? Are we self-aware enough to know that we do not have all the answers? Do we know how to leverage the diverse skills of the team around us to set them up for success?
Let’s not forget that many of us were doing just fine before Covid.
What was working back then? Do more of that or at the least keep doing that! Research shared by Dale Carnegie indicated that the employee experience is largely based on three key areas – Relationship with Immediate Manager, Belief in the Senior Leadership Team and Pride in the Organization. To engender a culture of inclusion requires that we get to know team members a bit better. We do this by having meaningful conversations with them to engage them more intentionally. This is what was needed pre-covid and is even more important and valuable in today’s business climate post covid.
What must we start doing post Covid?
We have learned that balance is important, and our work environment does not have to be in one location. As we have intentional conversations with team members, talk about the importance of balance with them and what expectations you have with one another at work. Expectations include when I can expect a response to an email. Are messaging apps like WhatApp, Slack or MS Teams worth us using for more urgent communication? Perhaps we are using too many tech apps to be effective, and some correspondence can be via text message.
To enhance employee experience requires us to be more social at work. This has nothing to do with extroversion or introversion. Being social at work is about being productive by talking with and intentionally engaging people in the organization. It means connect and engage in a manner that our team members are receptive to us and our ideas. As we reflect on what we can do to enhance employee and team members experiences, here are some ideas to consider:
- Turnaround your work in 2 business days – If we receive an email or need to respond to a proposal request or a non-urgent client service issue. Turn that around in 2 working days. It will provide consistency in your workflow and team members will learn to rely on you.
- Communicate using your out of office notifications – recently changed positions, or you are seeing there are a lot of enquiries for areas that are not part of your work function. Auto replies to emails are a game changer. This is how we can communicate to suppliers or clients a lot more efficiently.
- Take Breaks – With covid, many of us are living at work so to speak. Our home is our office, and our office is our home. We need to schedule breaks in our day and take them. I was sharing my frustration of inconsistent exercising and my good friend said – put it in your diary and block the time. 20 minutes on the peloton is all we need to recharge Neville, no need to block an hour of your day, every day when you are super busy. There are times we just need to take a break and clear our heads. That was great advice! I would highly recommend that to everyone.
- Schedule Team Huddles – Be as inclusive as possible. Timing with work and life priorities are different from person to person and as we go through the varying seasons of our lives, we just need others to be there and listen. If team huddles are poorly attended by some, connect with those folk individually over coffee in person or virtually. Once they know you care, we will get more engagement and commitment from them.
The more we intentionally work with others in our team, the more they will want to be part of the team. Spending this time connecting will also enable us to identify if a person is not a good fit in the team. As a leader then, our responsibility shifts from coaching them to stay, to rather mentoring them to find happiness in another work environment. Real leaders find a way to grow others where they are at, and sometimes where they are at is not with you.
Neville De Lucia has been in the people development business for over 20years. He started his career as a certified financial planner and joined Dale Carnegie as a performance consultant in October 2000. Over the years Neville has applied his trade globally and supports the development of organizations by delivering customized training to clients in the USA, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Neville is a Business Coach, TEDx Speaker Coach and has a passion for youth development and is currently engaging with young adults on job readiness initiatives that will prepare them for the workplace of the future.
As a people’s person, you will find that Neville is fit for purpose in this industry. His focus on others allows them to grow into the person that they want to be. Neville and his wife Caryn moved to Cary North Carolina in January 2021 with their three daughters and are excited to build a successful business in the USA. To work with Neville or to just have a conversation reach out and connect with him here.