There has been much discussion over the last few months around what the new world of work will look like and what that will mean for how we spend our time.
Much of this has centred on how organisations can rethink the place that work is done to help drive sustainable productivity for their people. Whether redesigning offices to make them places of social connection and collaboration, or rethinking home as a place for focus, companies are taking the opportunity to redesign work. As we’ve heard the stories of how organisations are thinking about this shift, one element that has been front of mind is what these shifts mean for the experience of employees at work, and how we can ensure that this does not suffer as a result of any new way of working.
At HSM, we’re currently researching People Experience with our Future of Work Research Consortium members and as part of this have been reflecting on what the elements are that make up our experience at work. This experience differs by employee, based on their perception, but is made up of the tasks that they do, the knowledge that they have and the people they interact with. In our focus groups, members shared how this experience is impacted both by organisational ‘moments that matter’ such as onboarding, development or offboarding but also personal life moments and the day-to-day experience of being at work. Maybe an employee has just returned from maternity leave or had a bad meeting with your manager which has shifted the way they perceive the organisation.
What this means is ever more personalisation to account for multiple variables, which will only increase as people work more hours from home. Instead of this perception being shaped by work and interactions in the office, it can be impacted by elements outside of the responsibility and control of the organisation. So how can you ensure that your people continue to have a positive experience within your organisation?
Understand what makes up the experience of your people.
The past year has revealed that organisations are often not aware of what positively or negatively shapes the experience of their people. Every job has latent values that are not explicitly recognised by the organisation. Employees in high-pressure jobs with long working hours for example have realised that the camaraderie of being with your colleagues working later into the evening on a project had more impact than they realised. To develop this understanding requires listening to your people, whether through personas, focus groups or surveys, understanding what they really value and knowing how this will be impacted by any new way of working.
Co-create the experience as a collective.
Of course, this knowledge of what your people feel is not enough without action. As experience at work is affected by our interactions with others and can vary widely by individual it is therefore crucial for organisations to involve the voice of their people in the designing and delivering of the people experience. What is the responsibility of individual employees? What does this mean for what we provide as an organisation? What should our non-negotiables and red lines be in any hybrid world of work? These are some of the questions to involve your people in to start creating a collective vision for what it means to work in your organisation.
At this time of great flux, listening and acting on the voice of your people will ensure that as you move to a new way of working, the experience of what it means to work at your organisation will remain rooted in the lived experience of your people. Contact Anna to find out more.