As many organizations are planning and communicating their return to the office or continued work-from-home plans, it’s become increasingly obvious that going back or staying put won’t fix problems that have bubbled up within teams, management, individual employees, and the culture. In many ways, COVID helped shine a bright light on impending challenges leaders would be faced with sooner rather than later. From increased Baby Boomer retirements and an expanding leadership gap to remote work culture crisis and recruitment troubles, 2021 is shaping up to be a year of immense opportunity. The question is, how will your organization rise to the challenge and address post-pandemic organizational challenges now to be able to successfully ride the economic boom later?
You don’t know what you don’t know
After a tumultuous year, do you know how engaged each member of your team is with their job, manager, team and culture?
All too often, leaders assume when retention is steady, there isn’t a problem. The culture must be strong. Leadership must be doing a good job. But with unemployment low and government checks paying more than hourly wages, employees hold all the power. There are a lot of job opportunities but few available or interested qualified candidates. So, no one is above poaching and every employee is now at risk.
By measuring employee engagement now, leaders can develop a better sense of where they stand when it comes to connecting with team members. We know there are four forces that destroy engagement:
- Misalignment with the job;
- Misalignment with the manager;
- Misalignment with the team; and
- Misalignment with the organization.
It’s possible an organization could be fighting any one of these forces, or even all four, at any given moment — especially now, after potentially a year or more of remote work, limited collaboration, and potentially an increased work load due to the loss of team members.
The value of the baseline
Similar to starting a new workout regimen or nutritional plan, it’s important to know where you’re starting from first. You can’t pin point what’s broken if you lack the data to prove it. An employee experience survey that measures engagement across the four categories above (job, manager, team, and organization), reveals what’s broken and what’s working.
But surveys are scary.
Much in the same way people clean their house before their cleaning service comes, many leaders want to “clean up” their organization before they ask what’s wrong. The problem with this approach is two-fold:
- If you haven’t surveyed employees, you don’t know what’s broken. You’re only working on a hunch.
- And, if you don’t know where you’re at now you won’t be able to realize how much you’ve grown later!
Now is a great time to get your baseline and know, without a doubt, where you should be focused in the coming months as you address post-pandemic organizational challenges. Don’t plan for the future on a gut feeling. Use data to build plans for improving the employee experience, company culture, and team output to set your organization up for success in the long run.
If you would like to learn how ADVISA works with organizations of all sizes to better understand the employee experience and treat areas of misalignment, send me an email or reach out to your leadership consultant.
For more on preparing for organizational growth and creating a magnetic work culture, read “Booms, Bottlenecks and How to Prepare Your Organization for Growth” by ADVISA Chairman Bob Wilson.
And, to learn more about organizational culture and its impact on the post-COVID workplace, read this recent article by Leadership Consultant Mandy Haskett.