Updated: Aug 6, 2020
The new normals of remote or hybrid work (time split between home and office), anxiety around job security (it happened to my friend, it could be me next), and blurred lines between personal and professional are pushing businesses to think differently about how to best support employees in order to achieve KPIs. The new stars of the show? Employee experience and engagement leaders.
Think about it: the workplace will remain remote or hybrid for the foreseeable future, presenting many challenges for employees:
Reduced or nonexistent social outlets ie “watercooler” chats, shared meals, coffee breaks with colleagues.
Minimal/nonexistent onsite services such as fitness, personal development workshops, or happy hours.
Difficulties maintaining work-life balance, especially for those with families. Naturally, we see that physical and mental well-being are slipping through the cracks.
It goes without saying that both short and long-term productivity are decreasing, innovation is at risk for being stifled, and comradery amongst colleagues is suffering.
Some companies already recognize the potential consequences and have adjusted their engagement budgets accordingly. Unfortunately, some businesses will act much too late, after more serious damage has been done to productivity and employee morale.
The bottom line? Companies are facing a real and ongoing challenge. As the initial excitement of live workouts, virtual happy hours, and guest speakers sessions fades, people are seeking something new. Teams must pivot and create more tailored programs that capitalize on connection.
So we return to our original question- has COVID-19 placed employee experience and engagement specialists at the center of business’ performance? YES. Employee experience and engagement leaders more than ever are called to be on the frontlines for their employees (and the greater company) in this age of remote work.