COVID-19 is changing the world. Even the working world. Whereas some companies are struggling, others are currently making huge strides forward. We are moving en masse toward a “new normal.” What does that mean for your employees and the success of your organization? HRM experts Florien de Nijs (CHRO Exact) and Guido Heezen (HR trend watcher and Effectory founder) have the answer.
How can your organization emerge from this crisis in a healthy position? How do you move forward? And how do you shape the future with a “new normal”? According to Florien de Nijs and Guido Heezen, there are three parts to this answer: a new corporate culture, a new role for the office and a new perspective on leadership and performance. How can you achieve this successfully? That’s simple — through a continuous dialog with your employees.
The second wave…
Guido: “In the first wave of the coronavirus there was panic, but also a lot of enthusiasm. Employees were curious about the ‘new normal.’ They supported their organizations through thick and thin. The second wave is different. There is irritation and not a great deal of perspective, because no one knows how long this is going to last. We miss having a feeling of togetherness and achieving things together. That’s why, as HR experts, we need to focus on the employee experience right now: How do we keep our employees engaged and passionate?“
New corporate culture
Florien: “What does your online work environment look like? How do managers devote their attention to your employees when everyone is working online? Is there enough room for online development and fun? And are your employees really being listened to?
Now more than ever, we need to make our employees feel that they ‘are part of something.’ This means that extra attention needs to be paid to a new corporate culture. One that fits the ‘new normal.’ Come up with more creative ideas to engage your employees. Need an example? During the summer, we created a full-blown ‘beach’ in our parking lot at Exact. Our employees were able to meet in a fun setting, at a safe distance and in the open air.”
The role of performance
Guido: “In the ‘new normal’, ‘leadership’ and ‘performance’ have new roles. Fixed workplaces, hierarchies and control no longer work. The new normal demands flexibility, equality and trust. There is no leader at the top anymore. Instead, we work in teams that work together, wherever they are, through good communication and on the basis of ‘equality’. And within those teams, the focus is shifting from employees simply being present to what they actually deliver.”
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The office as a meeting point
Florien: “Do we still need an office in the ‘new normal’? In principle the answer to that question is ‘no’, because everyone can work from home. However, I would say: ‘Yes, we still need an office.’ Not as the workplace that we knew before, but as a place where people can be creative and socialize. The office of the future will be a meeting place.”
When moving toward the “new normal”, one thing is essential, according to Florien: “Listen to your employees. How are they doing? Are they too busy or are they bored? Do they want an online quiz or a beach outside the office? Or do they need something else? Ask your employees. Engage with them frequently, for example by conducting a number of surveys. Keep the conversation going and really listen. This is the only way that can you create a successful ‘new normal’.”
Want to find out more about the new normal?
Thank you, Florien and Guido, for this interesting webinar! Are you keen to find out more about the new normal, crisis management, leadership and being a good employer? Each month, Effectory hosts a free webinar covering a topic that is relevant to the times we now live in.
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