By Tushar Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder of HubbleHQ
The pandemic has undoubtedly placed a substantial physical barrier between colleagues and employers this year. With that in mind, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that employees’ opinions are heard as well as valued—as companies that lead with an “employee-first” mentality will be the ones to come out of this tumultuous year having grown for the better.
After all, whilst 2020 has been monumentally difficult, it has brought about elements of positive change—particularly in the way that it has encouraged many employers to pay more attention to what it is that their employees want, not just what they think the business needs. The benefits of doing can be numerous for both parties, usually resulting in happier, more productive employees who are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.
So, to ensure that we all leave this pandemic on the right side of this change, here are a few ways that businesses can show their commitment to their employees’ voices:
- Give employees a platform to share their views
The first step is often the one that gets overlooked: having open lines of communication between you and your employees. Because if you don’t ask, how can you know what your employees want?
Whilst this might feel more difficult than usual whilst so many of us are working from home, it really doesn’t have to be. Something as simple as a well-thought-out survey can go a long way in ensuring that employees know their needs are being heard.
Surveys often make it easier to quantify insights and present a clear list of findings for a business to act upon. They can also make it easier for employees to share any concerns, which can often be quite intimidating to do face-to-face.
To make all of this as easy as possible for employers, at HubbleHQ we’ve created a Workplace Strategy Tool that businesses can use to survey their team members and glean clear and insightful responses on how and where employees want to work in the future.
- Stay ahead of the curve
Whilst Covid was the catalyst for home working back in March, the overall success of the experience means that many employers will likely be incorporating more flexible working into company practices well into the future.
Such significant change will surely have a knock-on effect on rules and regulations, which will need to be altered to reflect new working practices. With this in mind, it’s important that businesses are not just staying up-to-date, but are striving to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to looking after employees’ mental and physical wellbeing.
This could involve organising events such as dedicated wellbeing days for employees, allowing workers to work more flexible hours to better reflect family and personal circumstances or even allocating a budget that employees can use to improve their home working setup.
- Think about employees’ physical workspace…wherever that may be
Employers have a responsibility of care to their employees—especially when it comes to their working environment. But unfortunately, employees’ home setups are often not suited to long periods of work, and outside the office, issues can be harder to identify and rectify. Not only can this have a major impact on employees’ happiness and productivity, but can even cause significant long-term health conditions.
As such, it’s important to invest time and effort into ensuring your team members have the equipment they need to work safely and effectively from home (in fact, a DSE Assessment is required by UK Health and Safety Law). You may also like to offer them passes for a local coworking space, so that they can get out of the house—whether that be for a client meeting or just for their mental wellbeing.
- Don’t fall back into old ways
Like with any new habit, it can be easy to fall out of a routine, no matter how productive it is. It’s crucial that once you have taken on board the opinions and insights of your workforce, that your company builds on a deliverable plan of action for progress that is concise as well as easily deployable.
It’s key to follow up with deliverable actions that really show your employees that their voices are heard and opinions valued. In the world of remote working, overcommunication is always preferred to undercommunication.
- Keep checking in with the team
With the steps above implemented, a business is taking strides to place its employees’ voices at the forefront of its decision making. But don’t be disparaged if it takes a little while to see a return of your investment.
It is well documented that happy workers are more productive, and from these steps, the foundations are laid for a company to go forward into 2021 engaging with their employees better which ultimately returns the investment in the shape of increased productivity and loyalty to the business.