The Future of Work – Changing Employee Expectations
Although many things have changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an emerging shift in the attitudes and expectations of employees. As people are such a critical element to success, businesses looking to future proof their workspaces may consider how this shift will affect them.
So, what do employees expect in the current COVID-19 climate?
We have seen a rise in employees seeking employers, managers and leaders who have personable traits such as empathy, warmth, care and understanding. Inclusive leadership is another big expectation of employees. Leaders who listen, collaborate, promote two-way communication and understand all employee situations are what employees are after. Employees are now requesting more flexibility than before the COVID period, including flexible work arrangements. It seems the key decision making should include more of a conversation with subordinates accepting feedback.
Employees hope their leadership can make key decisions quickly and decisively in this new climate. Making tough decisions, pivoting quickly and acting decisively are all skills that are valued in a leader, particularly during the pandemic. For employees, feeling secure in this uncertain world is a must! Employers who act quickly to produce certainty for their staff are greatly appreciated. This requires staying on top of COVID updates, planning for the future and recognising what habits (the good and the bad) have developed during the pandemic.
For instance, in the future, is remote work a part of your long-term business strategy? Has your company culture taken a dip during the pandemic?
The key is to create certainty and know how you would like your business and staff to move forward.
Purpose and direction seem to be an integral shift to employee expectations in this climate. Employees need to feel that their work has value or has meaning.
From an organisational standpoint, your business needs to have a purpose that unites the team and adds value beyond the work. For some companies (such as A1 Office) sustainability is at the core of their purpose and every employee unites under the same vision of saving the planet. For other companies, the customer is their purpose, striving to improve their quality of life. Regardless of your occupation, understanding that your workplace should inspire people, generate creativity, produce innovation, convey meaning, bring people together and build a human connection is key to embracing employee expectations.
Employee’s values have changed, and given the uncertainty around job security and stability during the pandemic, communication from leadership is critical for morale. Many employees in this current ‘COVID-Managed’ climate also care about the values behind communication, yearning for authentic, open, honest, transparent and human communication. Adding these values into your official company culture can only strengthen your connection with your workforce.
At A1 Office we empower employee potential through creative problem-solving. To exceed your employees’ expectations, get in contact with one of our consultants. Experience the difference.