Point of View of the Worker More Important than Point of View of Their Functions

Going two years after the Covid-19 outbreak has made businesses constantly on guard. It has made decision-makers prepare for uncertainty and formulate better strategies.  Business executives, along with global mobility professionals, are now keeping themselves posted on the latest and anticipated trends on how work should be conducted amid this uncertainty. 

Common themes funnel down to people. Perhaps, this is why business executives have been consulting people managers such as HR and global mobility professionals on how to ride the waves in this pandemic. 

One trend that has been in the spotlight since the Covid-19 pandemic is the focus on Employee Experience (EX). Without achieving quality EX, it can hamper employee retention which implies significant costs for the company.

In addition, job retention has been the center of issues according to the Deloitte CEO Survey. John Brownridge, digital workplace leader at Deloitte Consulting, recommends C-suite and people managers to shift their perspective on employee experience by starting to look at it from the point of view of the worker and not from the point of view of their functions. And with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 forcing companies to delay back-to-office plans, they’d have to include remote workers’ perspectives.

Shane Green, CEO of SGEi, understood the need to incorporate remote workers in EX strategies. In pursuit of better understanding them, his company has been conversing and surveying remote workers. This allowed them to identify four key moments that define the remote working experience. Green presents these moments in the form of employee questions:

  • Do I have the tools, technology, information, training, and support to do my job well today?
  • Do I feel connected to my manager?
  • Do I feel connected to my team?
  • Can I disconnect from work?

Trends in the workplace

Bernard Marr & Co, a consulting organization, recognizes that as new technologies continue to change the ways of work, the relationship between the workplace and workers is constantly changing. The organization identifies 5 workplace trends in the next year to provide businesses a glimpse of the workplace of the future.

Hybrid working

With new variants expected to emerge like Omicron, experts predict that if the creation of effective vaccines won’t speed up, remote work would be the go-to option for organizations that possess the capability to do so. For companies who do require on-site work, the suggested approach is to adopt a hybrid workforce. But this has been an existing strategy since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Another important thing to note for Year 2022 is that employees are now in a more powerful position to influence employers’ decisions with regard to workplace strategies.

Business news is dominantly flooded with themes surrounding workers. Take Yahoo Finance, for example. It cites a survey conducted by RingCentral, Inc. demonstrating many of its respondents concerned that workplace freedom will not be an option in the coming year. This proves that a considerable percentage of the workforce are now settling in this new type of workplace setup.

AI-supplemented workforce

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have quite an infamous reputation as the common notion towards them as job eliminators exist. In another light, the World Economic Forum views automation optimistically, predicting that 133 million new jobs will be created this year while displacing only 75 million — a net increase of 58 million jobs. If businesses continue to move forward and integrate technology and automation, workers now have to align their skills and abilities to the changes they bring about. AI and automation will primarily reduce daily repetitive tasks so people can focus on more human aspects of work such as creativity, emotional intelligence, and relationships. 

Employee resilience and welfare

What businesses are now beginning to understand is that workforce resilience in today’s time is a byproduct of holistically healthy employees. It’s been observed that employers are expanding their employees’ health plans to tackle mental health issues that have arisen in the pandemic. In a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 1,686 employers in public and private firms, 39% included mental health benefits in their employee health plans. 

Bernard Marr and Co. also suggests that skill redundancies in an organization in the Covid-19 pandemic can contribute to a resilient workforce. The company explains that the strategy, which most would deem inefficient, can save an organization when unwarranted disasters strike such as resignations or health-related absences. 

Focus on skills, less on roles

Before the pandemic, roles have been a great defining factor for business executives as a basis in making people-related decisions. According to Gartner, businesses that focus on roles tend to group unrelated skills. Skills, as defined by Bernard Marr and Co, are critical in addressing core business problems. Roles, on the other hand, are seen more as a position in the organizational chart. 

Once companies begin to develop different skills and competencies of their workers, this will allow them to experience multiple career advancement opportunities. 

Employee monitoring and analytics

With a large portion of workers working remotely, key performance indicators can be difficult to identify; consequently, businesses are now considering integrating employee monitoring systems in their workforce to get much-needed information to know whether remote workers are being productive.

However, things can turn for the worst if employees begin to feel as if their private lives are violated by the constant monitoring. 

So companies have to find the balance between enforcing discipline among their workforce while respecting their privacy. It is suggested when a company uses monitoring software, they have to ask for their consent.