Igniting a great workplace culture can be difficult, especially in an environment that tends to focus on improving your customers’ core competencies rather than your own. Here are four of the hottest culture trends that will impact organizations that provide business services in 2021:
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, prioritizing employee wellbeing, and communicating honestly, accurately, and frequently. Organizations 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 2021 (as they existed before the pandemic):
According to the 2020 Global Culture Report, 52% of employees in the business services industry used to be more optimistic about their career than they currently are. 40% of employees in business services report the things that they used to tolerate at work have started to bother them, and 35% of employees feel they have nothing more to give while at work. Burnout has become an increasingly serious issue, affecting an employee’s stress, energy level, and connection to their work.
A Forbes article confirms that 95% of HR leaders admit burnout is hurting retention at their organizations, contributing to up to one-half of annual workforce turnover. Without new learning experiences, wellbeing, balance, challenges, and growth opportunities, employees have become stagnant within their careers.
What business services can do: You may not be able to lower the number of hours required to work, offer work-from-home options, or provide scheduling flexibility, but you can help your people manage their stress better. Focus on improving all aspects of employee wellbeing (physical, emotional, and social wellbeing). Create positive everyday experiences, so employees feel connected to their work, their peers, and your organization.
Provide employees with a meaningful purpose that inspires them. Show how their work makes a difference by recognizing their accomplishments. Creating a great workplace culture can help mitigate—and prevent—employee burnout in even the most demanding environments.
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