REASSURING EMPLOYEES BACK TO THE OFFICE
DURING THE WAVE OF COVID,2020 TO 2022 HAS BEEN CHALLENGING ATTEMPTING TO GET EMPLOYEES BACK TO THE OFFICE.
AND YES, THE GREAT RESIGNATION IS A REAL THING.
According to a recent study, 58% of workers say they will quit their current jobs if forced back to the office. Companies need to be acutely aware of the deep-rootedness of their employees’ anxieties that stem from a fear for their physical health and their emotional and psychological constitution.
So how does one go about recreating an office culture that restores confidence in employees and makes them believe that spending eight hours of their day at the office is beneficial for them?
WELL, HOW ABOUT YOU START WITH A LITTLE EMPATHY?
Empathy in the workplace is an ever-growing and trending culture in today’s workforce.
LIKE THE GREAT RESIGNATION, THIS TOO IS REAL.
Allowing workers to express emotions about the current state of the world and listening to their personal stories is an important factor in establishing a new workplace attitude that reassures individuals their humanity is important.
The world is exasperated with the lack of corporate compassion. An era of truth and transparency has fallen upon us. The collective consciousness is here to stay and there very well could be civil war should another industrial revolution peer its ugly head.
Much recent research in neuroscience also confirms it: emotions are intimately linked to thinking and decision-making. Emotions play an important role in our behavior. This is why emotional intelligence is an essential managerial skill to espouse at all hierarchical levels. This proficiency allows us to understand our emotions in order to regulate our actions and our relationships.
While still just an altruistic concept for many companies, the next decade will be marked by the real-world application of advances in neuroscience and behavioral research. At the rate of how things develop in today’s world, companies that are not willing to invest in EI will be considered archaic, at best.
Data regarding employee departures already indicate the impact that the interpersonal relationship between management and its workforce has on employee retention.
Here are a few tips that might help get you started in building a more trusting environment for employees and implementing emotional intelligence into your managerial culture.
CREATE A «BOOK OF CONCERNS»
Note your employees’ concerns and build this type of book as this will be a source of great psychological knowledge for management to make informed decisions about employee concerns.
It will also make employees feel that what matters to them, matters to you.
Hire an outside agency or do an email survey asking questions about returning to the office. Keeping it anonymous will help ensure workers answer truthfully.
Your survey could include such questions as:
DO YOU PREFER WORKING FROM HOME OR RETURNING TO THE OFFICE?
If they answer home ask them to rank their reasons from 1 -5
WORK-LIFE BALANCE SAVINGS INDEPENDENCE
If the majority rank “Health” as their number one concern, then there’s an issue regarding your employees and their return to the office.
TRANSPARENCY IS KEY
Many workers will be concerned for themselves because they have health issues and others will be concerned because they have responsibilities as a caregiver. Regardless of the reasons, it is incumbent upon a company to be honest and let their employees know if working from home will potentially impact their career path.
Should there be no reason for this to be so, adopt flexibility and work closely with their concerns. If working from home could however create a negative-yielding outcome that leads to a turning point in their career, then help them ease back into the office with baby steps.
Speak with them individually and let them know all the precautions you have taken and that said precautions are based in science.
Work out a schedule that sees them return to the office one day a week for the first few weeks. Allow them to get them comfortable and then gradually increase the necessary time they spend at the office.
THE 501 EXAMPLE
Companies renting space in the 501 are able to inform their employees about all the secure features that the building supplies:
LARGE HALLWAYS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING
MULTIPLE STAIRWAYS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING
INDIVIDUAL HVAC AIR HANDLERS AND CONTROLLERS IN EACH UNIT
HANDS-FREE CONTROLS IN THE LAVATORIES
Office buildings and tenants must partner in providing a healthy and safe working environment for employees