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Topic: Culture

4 Culture Trends for Telecommunication Companies in 2021

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Building great workplace cultures can be challenging, especially with the rapid pace of change in the modern workplace. Here are four of the hottest culture trends that will impact telecommunication organisations in 2020:

Update: The way we work shifted dramatically overnight. In Q1 of 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic hit. Businesses and their employees are being forced to change how they work in some unprecedented ways. While most employees transitioned to remote work, many are left working on the front lines with new social distancing requirements. Confusion, anxiety, and fear are palpable. How will employees adapt to this change in work environment, process, and roles? How can companies help employees be calm, productive, and healthy?

O.C. Tanner pulse surveys show 40% of employees globally are worried about losing their job, while 60% worry about lost income. 65% of employees report feeling a “tense” work environment, and 46% of employees say they are less productive at work. There’s a 221% increase in fearfulness among employees, and a 135% increase in feeling isolated.

During a time of great uncertainty and change, many companies are struggling with how to take care of their people and keep their businesses operating.

What companies can do: In times of crisis, it is a company’s responsibility to help employees thrive. This includes many things: ensuring employees are safe at work, giving them access to the tools and resources they need to do their jobs, prioritising employee wellbeing, and communicating honestly, accurately, and frequently. Organisations are taking the necessary steps: 92% of companies took appropriate actions to make sure their employees were safe at work. Video communication from senior leaders nearly doubled. The number of flexible leave policies increased 95%. Now is the time to make employees your most important asset. Take care of their needs, help them stay connected in a time of physical disconnection, and show appreciation for their work and efforts, especially those on the front line. If you take care of your people, they will take care of your business.

This means we need to understand how employees are feeling and what they want from work.  Here the 4 culture trends for 2020 (as they existed before the pandemic):

Culture Trend #1: Employees are burning out.


31% of employees in the telecommunication industry say they feel burned out. It’s no surprise why: the services these employees provide involve installing systems, maintaining them, and ensuring customers remain connected, without interruption—24 hours a day, seven days a week. Keeping uptime at 100% for millions of customers isn't a small challenge when you have tens of thousands of miles of cable, thousands of exchanges, and huge pieces of equipment. Telecommunication workers are also often required to work overtime, especially during outages or during emergencies, when they must help restore network connections.

According to the 2020 O.C. Tanner Global Culture Report, 57% of employees in telecommunication organisations used to feel more optimistic about their career but 37% now say their situation at work is hurting their ability to be happy in other aspects of their lives. 38% say their job has a negative effect on their physical health, and 31% say their wellbeing has decreased. Telecom workers are also required to stay current with their skills as the industry adapts to AI, big data, and 5G network expansion. This need to acquire new skills, along with the high level of pressure from their day-to-day jobs, causes immense stress and burnout.

What telecommunication companies can do: You may not have control over emergency outages caused by natural disasters, but you can help your people manage their stress better. If possible, allow for flexibility in when and where your employees do their work. Focus on improving overall employee wellbeing (physical, emotional, and social wellbeing). Create positive everyday experiences so employees feel connected to their work, peers, and your organisation. Provide employees with a meaningful purpose that inspires them. Show how their work makes a difference for customers—and the broader community—by recognising employee accomplishments. Creating a great workplace culture can help mitigate and even prevent employee burnout in even the most demanding environments.

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