In one of my blog posts, I wrote about how CEOs can create a safe working environment for their employees. Today, I want to explore further why we should focus not only on the working environment but also make ultimate changes on how every business operates to prepare itself for the future.
We live in a (post)pandemic world. While many countries are almost open now and people are gradually returning to pre-COVID routines, many companies consider going remote or hybrid.
Remote offers tons of benefits for both companies and employees. Starting from decreasing operational expenses to making the life of every employee better. It also has several drawbacks. Even before the pandemic, coworkers spent up to 80% of their workday talking to each other. Today the "no-meeting day" is the only day to schedule some meetings. So one of the reasons for changes is to improve the way coworkers talk to each other.
The other major reason that we need to address is the changes in society. The rise against inequality, sexual harassment, the diversity movement forever changes how people perceive and select the company to work for.
And as you prepare your body for the summer during the winter months, you should start preparing your business for the future, today.
The first thing I recommend reviewing is the company's purpose and value.
Does everyone know the direction of your organization and its main objectives? Mission, vision, and company goals are broadcasted during onboarding, corporate events, or the website. On paper, all workers should understand the company's direction. But in reality, few employees are curious about it. One of the reasons for it is that they don't care because they don't believe in the purpose. Although recently, the number of employees actively involved in the company's life is growing.
Looking at the shifts in different segments of the population and the rising environmental awareness, you should think of your goal as something more grounded and be closer to reality. People care about each other and the environment, so it only makes sense that they would like to work on a project that changes the world for the better.
The company's apparent purpose is a mechanism that brings people together with stakeholders and motivates them to new achievements.
The main thing in forming or rethinking your purpose is not to trick anyone, yourself most of all. People understand when you try to deceive them. And no one will work for an organization that tries to hide behind fake values.
As the divisions in many enterprises became more connected in recent years, it led to even more complicated company structures. Sometimes employees don't even know who they can address regarding minor issues, not to mention things related to a project or something more significant. With remote, it became even worse.
Simpler means flatter – while you still want to keep some kind of hierarchy, the best bet moving forward is to make it flatter and more responsive to transformations.
The other benefit of a flatter company's structure is that decision-making is way faster.
Game developer and publisher Valve has been using a flat structure for years. Not all of their projects have been successful, but it is one of the best companies to work at.
The other thing that a flatter structure promotes is the "fail, learn, repeat" approach. For your business to be competitive, your employees need to learn fast. Encouraging a philosophy of continuous learning encourages people to reinvent themselves and adjust to the ever-changing needs of the market. What you should switch in your employees is the perception of failure. Satia Nadela, CEO of Microsoft, once said that "they embrace it." Rather than looking at failure as a failure, everyone should consider it a learning opportunity. "Instead of saying "I have an idea," what if you said "I have a new hypothesis, let's go test it, see if it's valid, ask how quickly we can validate it." he then added in conclusion.
The environment in which everyone feels comfortable experimenting and learning, speeds up employees' personal growth. In the long term, it will benefit the company too – this environment promotes creativity and innovation, which only strengthens its position on the market.
The real value here is, that employees will realize their true potential without ever thinking about leaving your company.
While some companies fire their employees using AI, others spend money and the most valuable resource of all – time – to nurture and grow talents.
Today, employees are the most valuable asset of all. There are several reasons behind this statement, from related to HR brand to economic ones. Hiring a new talent might cost you more money than you expected. And the situation will get even worse in years. That's why some companies are switching to the dedicated teams model or looking for talent in other countries.
Moving into the future, forming the best working environment is a must. Inclusivity is not just a word – it implies that no one should be left behind. Recent researches show that up to 39 percent of job-seekers declined an offer from a company because of its insufficiency of inclusion.
The next big thing is a work-life balance. If you want to keep your employees with you long-term, you should invest in management and operational processes, so no one burns out in a couple of months.
COVID-19 pandemic, the movement against racism and sexual harassment at the workplace showed us how imperfect our working environment is. People strive for changes, they have been for a long time, and it's up to us to transform how we work for the better.
As many companies face this crisis with uncertainty and fear, I believe that this is an excellent chance for many businesses to update their systems and processes to make them more flexible, integrated, inclusive, and in the end, more human.
Title image: Pixabay
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