Learning From Successful and Failed Strategy
If 2020 and 2021 were a sandbox to many of our plans, 2022 will be the year where we build the path to our future. Here are our top selections of strategies to shape a monumental year ahead.
The buzzword “hustle culture” or Type A personality should really be a thing of the past. What we need is healthy and friendly working culture. It’s okay to love challenging tasks or fast- paced working environments, but let’s stop glorifying those attributes as something that needs to be worshipped by every single worker. Not only there is no such things as one-size-fits-all, but also it puts a real strain on the employee’s productivity and well-being. Employers need to make adjustment to prevent employee’s burnout; hence, decreasing sick leave or absenteeism due to job stress altogether.
The Great Resignation
Employer can’t always please all employees. However, what does it imply when numerous employees are dissatisfied with their employer and they decide to leave? This phenomenon is a warning sign for HR and workplace to build healthier ecosystem than today that can be beneficial and fulfil the employees’ needs.
Information Gap and Mitigation Policies in an Emergency
The severity of an event depends on the awareness and readiness. A predicted storm or a big magnitude earthquake would not devastate a city if early warning systems and mitigation systems were well established. With sufficient information we can prepare and take the right actions to save many lives. The lesson from this pandemic is that unheeding an early warning, mismanaged information flow can cause a high cost.
Mental Tax of Virtual Interactions
This pandemic does not only bring us new viruses, technology disruption and such, it also brought us a few novel phenomena such as Zoom Fatigue. As it sounds like a buzz word at first, but it is actually a term agreed by mental health professionals as an emerging mental state during the course of 2020 and 2021. This mental fatigue is described as tiredness, worry or sense of burnout due to overusing virtual communication platform. As it impedes productivity and well-being of the user, neuroscientists and psychologists are trying to untangle the problem with a biopsychosocial lens.
Before looking inside the neuronal connection, we explore the technical side of Zoom. The main reason for fatigue is caused by the audio delay. It interrupts the process of receiving information and distracts our attention. During video conferencing, we are forced to multitask in order to grasp the information both verbal and visual. We need to attend to multiple boxes of faces and sounds. Yet this daunting task does not give our brain sufficient information. Why? In normal physical interaction, we get to cue our partner with non-verbal gestures, but it is not possible during video conferencing as we can only see from their shoulder and above. Scientists reported that these non-verbal cues will help us draw a context and get comprehensive information.
So the price we need to pay is that our brain is constantly trying to find the invisible cues, if prolonged, it could drain us.
Another explanation is how Zoom is emotionally unattractive to our social brain. Neuroscientists explain that in every activity, humans will weigh out the cost and reward of their task.
In an ideal social interaction as we are able to assess our environment comprehensively, this situation activates the part of our brain as a sign of rewarding activity. The thing with virtual interaction is that it is biologically perceived as high cost and low rewards, thus people are not so happy after they finish their meetings. To add more, the interface of video conferences commonly displays the speaker’s face on the whole screen. This confuses our brain, as normally the proximity of eye contact can be interpreted as a threatening or intimate situation. It would be best for them to improve the interface which does not complicate our brain. This process happens for one single Zoom meeting, now how would you feel after being ordered to attend double or triple meetings at once?
Despite the downsides, we can actually try to lessen the effect of this fatigue by choosing the appropriate way which suits our mental capacity. You can turn off your camera for once in a while so you don’t have to stare at your reflection all the time. Try to pin the speaker’s window so you don’t have to list out every attendance’s faces. And might as well try to move around while having meetings as it will mimic the normal behaviour of physical communication. As we will probably rely on video conferencing in the upcoming years, hopefully these tips can help you keep the fatigue at bay.
Capitalising Talent No More
Great visions can only be a daydream without the right people and system to execute them. Organisations are always changing and adapting to the current situation, especially now as many aspects of work and its definition is rapidly transforming. In practice, change should be embraced and managed by the whole organisation or else they will face resistance.
Out of many aspects, nowadays companies put their employee’s needs at the centre stage. They really want to address needs, pain points, and factors that will improve the employee’s performance and career growth.
As many research reports, companies are putting more effort in recent years to improve their employee experience. This urgency is emphasised especially when high numbers of employees struggle with their work and life in general during pandemic. As their talent begins to question why and where they should be working, companies who try to create an authentic and customised employee experience are likely to boost the employee’s energy, performance, and give them a purpose. These needs are highlighted especially by Gen Z employees in which they are looking for balance of work and life as their main values rather than just a high-income job.
As the future of jobs will be dominated by issues such as remote work, automation and AI, and a widening skills gap, companies need to focus more on what the worker needs. McKinsey reported that employees needed to build trust to maintain social cohesion, clear communication and responsibilities to serve a purpose in their job, being recognised, and having the opportunity to learn and grow either career wise or personally.
By mapping out those needs, organisations can start to pave their employee journey by ensuring to maximise their satisfaction, increasing performance, and maintaining productivity to create an enjoyable working experience. To create an employee experience there are essential things that need to be considered to ensure that it aligns with the organisation’s mission. Make sure to use the north star as the foundation to move forward, address and empathise with the employee’s needs, and utilise digital tools to create a seamless process so people can be more engaged with the creative aspect of their work.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Flexibility
As the age of the employee gets younger, they are the most vocal and open-minded generation out there who are fighting for their rights ranging from racial, gender, neurodiversity, disability, and many more. They are not only seeking those rights on cardboard and the street; they also demand some proper representations within the workplace.
Reskilling and Upskilling
To overcome talent shortages, companies need to enhance their talent skill. [stat] workers are planning to change roles. This means that the employer needs to provide a development program to reskill. Because of the high number of attritions, companies can’t really decide who they want to recruit, so better that they upskill and train the talent with potential to meet their expectation.
Well-Being and Productivity for the Better
To ensure your company’s growth you need to put your talent at the heart of the business. These are the people who put their best skills and effort to contribute to the business and keep your company going. In that case, we need to pay attention to their well-being. We all know how sickness, burnout workers are a few factors behind the disengagement, absenteeism, turnover, and productivity issue. DDI’s 2021 Global Leadership Forecast found that 60% of leaders indicate that they feel “used up” at the end of every workday, which is a strong indicator of burnout. This stress was even higher for high-potential employees who aspire to leadership, where 86% of them are at risk of burnout. This issue also has a detrimental effect on the economy.
Whether you are an emerging or senior company, you need to address this well-being issue and implement them in your work policy. Well-being is the main concern of the future generation when choosing a career or a company. During this talent shortage, it is better to attract and retain talent by providing them with the best working ecosystem. As you prioritize their health and well-being, it helps them to be more productive and gain satisfaction about their job.
Walk the Talk for Digital Transformation
As we are heading to a new era of work, one of the main importance of the situation is digitalisation. We heard from many experts that leading your company to implement a digitalised system guarantees your business to stay relevant in the market. But considering the high cost and long list of considerations to be involved within the transformation, is it really worth it? Or is digitalisation the only way to create an effective system to run your company? Well you got to conduct a research and assess what aspects of your company that need to be improved. Once figured out, it is easier for you to define and set strategies of what digital transformation will occur in your company.
There are things worth considering when talking about digitising your whole system. It is transformative because it changes the way how the job is done. As your system and decision-making are going to be automated and data-driven based, you can save your employee time to work on something more valuable rather than in a time consuming manual administrative task. They will have a chance to explore their job and their task which in turn will increase their satisfaction and sense of purpose within their role.
Having an automated system and tools also adds value on the customer side, now they can use your service conveniently since the waiting time is being cut down. But we need to remember that the promise of efficiency from digital transformation can only be achieved if we manage to transform and gather the whole units within the system to use it. (NHB)