The pandemic has been the source of much unintentional change for many businesses. It has led to many rolling out unplanned and reactive measures to adapt to their workforce’s challenges. Organisations are embracing a culture of change like never before and are expected to continue to do so as they build the future workforce. According to a survey by PwC, organisations with a distinctive culture were 80 per cent more likely to see an increase in employee satisfaction, illustrating how culture has grown and will continue to play a bigger role in organisations’ way forward. 2022 will be the year of workplace reinvention, where initiatives and culture are intentionally implemented and built. As organisations take the wheel to shape their destiny purposely, how can they create a meaningful impact and positively make a difference in the lives of their employees? Applying this lens is critical because organisations that can adapt well and accurately predict the needs of their people will also be best placed to adapt to the needs of their customers. There has been a growing trend of employees switching jobs or leaving the workforce in droves in recent years. For many, the pandemic precipitated a shift in their priorities, bringing employee well-being, personal and employer values and social purpose to the top of their wishlist of ‘wants’ in a job. A recent EY Global survey also found that more than half (54 per cent) of employees worldwide would consider leaving their jobs if they were not afforded flexibility in where and when they worked after the pandemic. Organisations are now having to straddle new challenges with their workforce. They have to find ways to fine-tune their work culture to attract and retain talent while ensuring that their business performance boxes are ticked off. To ensure employees feel valued and engaged, employers will need to invest in building a people-first company and purpose-driven culture.
Building connections to drive employee engagement
Connections take time. New employees may find it even harder to assimilate into their new workplace and connect with their colleagues in an uncertain environment, such as the ongoing pandemic, which has restricted social interactions and contact. With their primary interactions being largely virtual and likely only with immediate team members, it would be challenging for new employees to fully experience a company’s culture and begin cultivating a sense of belonging.
Therefore, it is vitally important for organisations to connect new employees to their company purpose, ensuring that, while they are perhaps not physically connected, they feel united behind the company’s vision and mission and their role within it. This is equally true for organisations with teams based across different countries or regions. To mitigate the lack of business travel, leveraging technology and embracing a digital workplace is key to boosting productivity while enabling effective collaborations that help keep employees invested. We do this in a number of ways at Gojek, through a range of virtual activities designed to engage employees, including monthly town halls with the company’s leaders, regular virtual workout sessions hosted every week as well as internal talks on different topics such as mental health, sustainable living and more.
Empowering employees through purposeful and meaningful work
The question that employers should ask themselves is, how much of the time their employees spend at work should go towards actually solving customer or product issues to help make lives better, more delightful, convenient or easier? Also Read: The 5-part agile leadership guide that will make you a better business leader Providing unique opportunities for employees to truly understand the thinking and conception behind the company’s products, and demonstrating to them how the products improve the lives of millions of people, can go a long way in helping to build empathy amongst the workforce and meaningfully connect them to the work that they do. Employees who understand the purpose of their contribution may, in turn, be more inspired to create elevated and more impactful solutions down the road. As a mission-driven company, at Gojek, we want to ensure employees know and understand the value of their work, holding regular open sharing sessions with our employees to spotlight the real-world impact made. Gojek’s regular “Impact Spotlight” segment in our monthly town halls showcases impactful case studies and stories of how our products have made a difference in the lives of our driver-partners and merchants. We also invite driver-partners and merchants to these sessions to share their anecdotes first-hand with employees and help them understand how their work is genuinely making a difference in society.
One size no longer fits all
It is safe to say that hybrid work is here to stay. Providing employees with flexibility and choice is crucial to workplace happiness. While the physical workplace and office aren’t going away, employers will need to find a fresh, new approach to manage the post-pandemic expectations of their employees. After all, while some roles require an on-ground presence, not everything requires employees to be onsite. Organisations will need to find the right balance between allowing their workforce to have the option to work from wherever helps them do their best work and encouraging their presence in the office to foster collaboration and nurture working relationships.
At the same time, places of work would need to evolve and transform to better cater to a hybrid workforce. Some will look to the office space for social interaction and collaboration, while for others, it will remain an environment for deep, focused work. Organisations must think about how their office environments can be reworked to maximise employee well-being and enable them to perform at their best when serving customers and deliver results for the business. A bottom-up approach helps to build an inclusive workplace Creating a culture where people are respected, valued, and heard is essential and cannot take a back seat in the current climate. Also Read: Finding strength in adversity: How COVID-19 can shape a resilient workforce Organisations will need to open up channels of communication for employees to share their views and any concerns they may have and for their voices to be heard, no matter which level they are at. By ensuring employees feel that their voices are heard in the organisation, they can feel more fulfilled and more empowered in how they can help shape the environment they work in. This also means that after gathering views from employees, companies must ensure that they take action to address the feedback and then close the communication loop with employees by sharing the steps that have been taken. At Gojek, we introduced an anonymous virtual Q&A platform called “AskGojek”, where employees can ask questions directly to the management team. Similar Q&A sessions are held during every town hall. We also hold an annual Employee Engagement survey, which helps us better understand our employees’ thoughts on their work experience and how we can improve it. Being more experimentation-oriented and trying out iterations of the existing ways of working can result in an aligned approach that works best for both the organisations and employees. 2022: The year of intentional transformation in the workplace This year will be the year of organisational change as businesses overcome the enduring challenges of the past two years. No matter the organisation, employers will need to understand the importance of building an intentional culture that also aligns with its values and beliefs while supporting its business goals. This, in turn, helps to ensure that organisations are attracting the right talent aligned to their purpose while retaining their existing employees. With employee expectations already intensifying before the pandemic, organisations will also have to be more authentic and transparent with their people while offering greater work flexibility and creating a profound sense of purpose and meaning in work to remain ahead of their competitors. By shifting from being aspirational to purposeful, from efficient to impactful, and cultivating people-centred cultures that are healthy and inclusive, organisations can build and nurture an engaged workforce, reaping wider benefits for the business and its customers and allowing the organisation to thrive in the long-term. – Editor’s note:e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion bysubmitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic. Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page Image Credit: Rawpixel The post How Gojek built an intentional work culture for a thriving workforce appeared first on e27.