Have new ways of working disconnected your people from your purpose?

Something we can all agree on is that 2020 has been a challenge; a year full of unprecedented changes in how we live our lives and the way we work. Another thing that has been clear is that the organisations with a clear purpose and direction before the pandemic have weathered the storm better than those who were drifting. So, it’s time to get back on track, identify your purpose and reconnect your people and help everyone embrace the new ways of working.

New ways of working

The way we work is very different to how we worked 12 months ago and it will continue to change as we move into 2021.

Space & Place

In a lot of cases where people are working has changed. Great for those with their own home office, not so good for multi-occupancy households with limited space and broadband stretched to the limits.

Time & Boundaries

There’s evidence that people are working longer hours and not taking the breaks they would if they were in the office. And people are now actually starting to miss the commute. It’s becoming harder to switch between work and home mode and no commute means people aren’t starting and ending their workday and it’s all blurring into one.

Add into this diverse health and mental health needs, different family dynamics and responsibilities and it’s a perfect storm. A storm which is contributing to a disengaged, burnt out workforce which is bad news when it comes to expecting your people to deliver on your brand promise.

Reconnect your people with your purpose

If your organisation doesn’t have a purpose, it’s time to change that. We describe it as the red thread that ties people together to get everyone rowing in the right direction. Wouldn’t that be great if everyone knew the purpose they’re working towards and the role they have in achieving it? This has become particularly important for some people this year as they have lost purpose outside of work too. By understanding, communicating and embracing your purpose as an employer, it can help give your people feel a sense of purpose when they might not feel it anywhere else in their life.

But it’s not just about defining your purpose, you must live it too. Have you been living your purpose as an organisation in 2020?

Employee Value Proposition

Businesses are starting to look beyond survival and review practices to help them thrive in the future. One area of focus is the Employee Value Proposition (EVP). As your employees needs shift, it’s likely that your EVP needs to play catch up with your people and your purpose. Don’t let your organisation fall into ‘The Bad and the Ugly’ when it comes to your people.

Review the following five areas and assess whether you’re meeting the needs of your people and motivating them to work towards your purpose:

Your EVP will take into consideration the rewards you offer your people.  Not just the monetary value but how you make those rewards, the pace at which you make them and the transparency of them. Do you need to review this based on the changes of the past year?

The benefits you offer also play a large part too.  Earlier we mentioned increased mental health awareness, but do you offer this support to your people.  It’s not as expensive as you may think and the return on investment is much greater.

The type of career you offer is another key part of your EVP.  It’s not just the physical act of completing duties, it’s the opportunity for career progression and how you enable your people to develop further skills and cross-train in other areas.

Your people’s working environment is now, more than ever, under the microscope. How seriously do you take social distancing at your place of work?  Do you allow people to continue to work from home, even if you want them back at work?  And it’s not just the physical environment but the intangible environment too, do you give your people the responsibility to make decision and the autonomy to act on them?

Finally, what does the culture of your company say about you?  Culture is often described as the way we do things around here. But has that changed with people working remotely? Does it still represent your purpose and do your acceptable company behaviours reflect your values?

Looking ahead

Remember, this is a moving target so keep reviewing it; as the environment changes your people’s needs will change.

There have been many things outside of our control recently but with a focus on the things you can control you will be able to make a real difference to your people, how they perform for your customers and ultimately to the success of your business.