Has Work Changed Forever – and Is It for Good?

I have been inundated over the last few weeks with surveys, analyses, press releases and general conversation focused on the concept of “employee experience.” Everyone seems to be saying a form of the same things.

The pandemic has changed the workplace forever:

  1. Remote work is here to stay.

  2. Building and maintaining relationships is a challenge.

  3. The work force, particularly young professionals (of which I am not), is under tremendous pressure.

  4. Employee loyalty was at a low point prior to the pandemic – and it’s getting worse.

  5. The right package of compensation and benefits needs to include not just the historically common components but also those focused on employee wellbeing.

  6. “Wellbeing” is defined broadly. Not only does it embrace traditional health-related benefits but can also mean professional development.

  7. Employees want to be valued, heard, respected – and they insist that their employers support their professional development.

“Common” SenseIsn't what we're hearing common sense? People want to be seen, valued and supported. We’ve witnessed (or, more accurately, participated in) a fifty-year swing where the employer has moved from being a long-term home to a transactional, finance-driven, temporary shelter. Now, I’ll assert, we’re starting the swing back in the other direction.What does that mean for the employer of today, especially now that we have been changed by this pandemic? Again, there seems to be a consensus emerging:
  1. Helping current employees adjust to the unexpected changes requires direct and real action.

  2. Recruiting and retaining employees and avoiding the cost of turnover means that employers will need to differentiate themselves from others.

  3. Professional development is an important differentiator – helping employees become the best they can be in addition to the technical skills a job requires.

  4. Recognizing that support is not a point in time but an ongoing process.

Yes, the working world has changed, and probably forever. Whether it has changed for the good is up to us.

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