Marco Fanizzi, General Manager & VP, Commvault EMEA
As I look forward to 2022, I find myself in one of the most challenging planning cycles I can remember. Why? The continued unpredictability of global social and economic events. New variants, on-off travel restrictions and lockdowns are still present in our life everyday to varying degrees, and the current situation can still change abruptly, at any time. Cue Omicron. However, we do have the advantage now, and going into 2022, that we have seen these – and much worse – circumstances before and got through them. We’re no longer in shock, or unprepared as we were 2 years ago. We are now planning for the expected – unexpected. We are now building on the work done to incorporate this into the way our business works and teams are supported.
So, to avoid trying to achieve the impossible, this year I am going focus on what we know and pick out a handful of significant trends – not predictions – that will be driving my leadership and planning for 2022…
Keeping Company Culture Alive
Company culture isn’t dead. Yet. However, company culture as we knew it pre-pandemic is never going to completely return. The days when culture was grown inside buildings and passed from person to person has gone, and it is difficult – uncomfortable even – for many of us to recognise this is how the world works now. Company culture will still exist and thrive, but now needs to be reborn, driven from the bottom up, recognising the new priorities of employees after so long of working remotely.
COVID has changed how people want to work. It has realigned family values, personal and career goals. Now is the time to take the opportunity for us to have conversations and listen. To embrace a new culture based on the priorities of a new generation of employees whose personal priorities are more fundamentally diverse and inclusive as well as those who have now realised they want to work in a different way after the pandemic.
There will be a transition period as we work out new ways to lead and inspire. Going forward we need to create organisations that understand how businesses are being judged by current and potential employees. Until we learn to ask more questions and support individual choice, we still have work to do.
Realigning Corporate Values to Help Overcome The Great Resignation
Since the start of this pandemic, I think nearly all of us will have had some degree of reprioritisation of our values and priorities. Hybrid working gave everyone a chance to experience a wider variety of experiences during what would have been previously spent in – and travelling to and from – offices. Many of us have reassessed goals and aspirations, by demonstrating different ways to balance career, family and friends.
Just as many of us however also miss the creativity, spontaneity, collaboration and sense of wider working community that office culture created. Increasingly this means that if a job isn’t fulfilling enough people will move. There is (currently) a reduced bond from working face-to-face with colleagues, that in the past would have been a bigger factor for employees to stay.
This means the questions being asked in interviews, by prospective employees, are deeper than ever before, more challenging. The tables have turned and candidates are interviewing us, and increasingly often about our corporate culture and values, our plans and commitments to our communities, supply chain, the environment and our people.
Career paths are becoming less linear and people want new challenges and experiences to balance their more comfortable work life balance. As a result, our corporate values, the roles we offer, the rewards for doing those jobs and our working environments need to change for good.
Attracting and retaining the very best talent requires attention, training, personalised development and incentive plans for longer term. But most importantly, before we do this, we need to have conversations, listen and assess. We need to find out what individual’s realigned values are before acting.
Taking Responsibility for Workforce Wellbeing
At the very start of this year all businesses were caught on the hop a little with the wellbeing fallout from the pandemic. But now we’ve had time to take stock and look at the impact in more detail. In May and September this year we introduced extra proactive measures by designating four mental wellbeing days for all employees globally, in addition to regular leave.
We are also still identifying and working on resolving emerging issues around employee wellbeing in other ways. Looking further ahead we want to be completely flexible and will offer a hybrid environment so they can come into the office setting when they need to. We also have specific approaches for different people – senior people are generally more independent, for instance, but we will still offer a development place for young talent to meet, learn and share the environment with others and in time, get back to normality.
Our working lives must be flexible, sustainable, fair, and with diversity and inclusion providing a foundation for a positive shared future.
Flexibility is key. We are one big working family and we want to create working patterns that work for individuals. Our message to our staff for 2022 is primarily think about yourself, your wellbeing and family. And then, help us take the business and drive sustainable growth in 2022.