Over the last six months and counting, COVID-19 has challenged us as individuals and as organizations in numerous ways, but it’s also provided opportunities for growth and a chance to reconsider the workplace environment. While it’s easy to look at this time and see the negatives – and it’s important to acknowledge that for a lot of people this year has been very difficult – businesses who survived the downturn should embrace this opportunity to re-evaluate their strategic approaches.
If you’re not sure where to start in this new normal, download the toolkits from our webinar, Designing the Future Work Environment with an Employee-First Lens, and send out an employee readiness survey for your team to complete. This will help determine how your teams are feeling about the current climate and your company’s response. Then, dive into some of the advice that Trace Wallace, Experience Design Practice Director at Propeller, Jess Brown, Director of People Strategy at Propeller, and Lauren Lightbody, Director in Propeller’s San Francisco office, shared in the 45 minute presentation. The biggest takeaway? Put your employees first, and you’ll create a high-performing and supportive culture that will be reflected in the customer experience –a win-win.
Future Work Environment Framework
The first webinar focused on four main factors that affect the employee experience
1) Inclusion – ensure that your employees can participate in work equally, independently, and with confidence. Remove any barriers that might be standing in their way.
2) Adaptability – enable your organization to make quick adjustments in response to the changing competitive landscape.
3) Well-being - do your employees feel happy? Do they have a sense of meaning, purpose, and ability to handle stress?
4) Trust – act authentically, and with empathy and vulnerability. When you reinforce the importance of employee needs, your employees will gain and maintain confidence.
Along with the presentation and the employee readiness assessment, the toolkit contains a persona template to help group your teams and understand their goals, frustrations, and communications styles. There are also scenario planning and impact assessment tools to help you move through the rest of the framework.
I’ve heard the phrase, “Coming out the other side of the pandemic,” often over the last few months. But it’s important to remember that the experiences your employees are having now aren’t going to be forgotten and will shape what the future looks like. Take the opportunity during this time to readjust and refocus on your employees (if you’re not already doing so). They will thank you for it, and so will your organization’s future.
With an eye on the changing work environment, Propeller hosted three webinars between July 21 and August 19, focused on leading people and organizations through the new normal. The first webinar, Designing Future Work Environment with an Employee-First Lens, discussed how organizations can evolve to meet the needs of the current moment, including tips and materials to help you analyze your business, assess employee readiness, and pivot towards the future. The full conversation and collateral materials from all three webinars can be found here, and keep an eye out for the summary of webinar #2, coming soon.