I’ve grown to hate the word ‘normal’. It’s everywhere and nothing’s ‘normal’.
For many, remote working was a forced overnight move; the rapid shift of people and technology to a hugely different work-life culture. Having to suddenly grapple with Teams and Zoom, mastering online meetings and screen sharing, remembering the bloody mute button.
The initial novelty of home working and virtually allowing colleagues into our homes soon gave way to the realities of lockdown life:
- Battling with home teaching and relearning Pythagoras
- The kids’ Netflix addictions stealing ‘your’ internet bandwidth
- Having to talk about Tiger King in every conversation
- Managing and being managed through a pane of glass
- Yet another Amazon delivery – annoying the dog again at the exact moment the boss calls
- Rarely leaving home
There were of course far, far more serious challenges for many.
2021: the year the recovery started.
All being well, what appears to be the start of the recovery to some sort of ‘normal’ will continue; a recovery for many businesses that have had such a tough time; but also, a recovery for individuals. Individuals that have been deeply impacted over the last year and can now start to move forward positively. We can dream of spending time with family and friends, returning to the pub, the theatre, the sports pitch, the hairdresser’s chair and the book club (predominantly for a glass or two of red, I imagine).
Whilst leaders will naturally be thinking of a return to ‘normal’ for their business – targets, KPIs, bottom line and ROI – team members will be desperate to spread their wings and rediscover the world around them. Supporting them will be as vital to your organisation as to their wellbeing. You’ve no doubt worked hard on your business’ CX (customer experience), welcome to the year of EX (yes, that’s employee experience).
EX, what’s the big deal?
Employee experience will play an increasingly central role in the workplace. Treating people well provides tangible benefits. Employees who have a positive experience with your business are engaged and present, creative and productive, confident in driving business results. It empowers, instills adaptability, and embeds resilience. Good employee experience drives high customer experience. Focussing on employee experience also reduces staff turnover. We’re sure you don’t need us preaching how difficult attracting and retaining the very best talent is, even for the most ambitious organisations.
On a less positive note, what about low EX? Employee power cannot be overlooked. Bad experiences soon find their way to the numerous employer ratings websites and to social media, bearing all to your prospects and potential future superstars.
So, keeping your team happy is good for them and it’s good for your business.
Nothing too radical? Bear with me….
Numerous surveys show that most employees (that can, of course) wish to retain some degree of homeworking, but the most successful and forward-thinking organisations will go further – consciously planning and implementing a ‘people first, location second’ strategy. For most this will be a hybrid model including some office working but going further than ‘homeworking’ – working anywhere.
Babble’s Comms, Contact Centre and Cyber solutions ensure there are no technological barriers to setting your people free from an outmoded work model.
2021: the year of fish & chips on the beach
And playing in the woods. Weekends with friends and family. City breaks. A pint and pie by the river. A proper walk, away from home.
Placing employees at the centre of your organisation and with the right tech allowing them to do their best work can give your organisation the strongest possible bounce back. Trust your employees with the freedom and flexibility to unwind, rediscover life and ensure they are best placed to give their all.
So, whilst you work on your EBITDA, enable your team to work on their fish & chips. After all, working from a beachside hotel on a Friday morning isn’t such a big deal, is it?
Salt and vinegar please. No ketchup.