2020 has been the year of ‘WTF’ at every turn. Once we knew COVID-19 was in the U.S. the next round of chaos came with it hitting businesses on all levels. Surprisingly, a lot of companies were able to get their employees deployed to working from home or other remote locations within a few weeks.
Gallup conducted a study (Dec. 2020) of businesses to determine what workplace insights had been learned. I’ve picked out my top 3 and share them in this post.
1. Remote workers have higher engagement than in office workers when they receive frequent feedback from their manager. It goes without saying, if you are a manager, in the new world of work, you need to be a good coach and cheerleader. When employees are remote working, there is a little of the out of site out of mind syndrome. The managers that touch base more frequently and provide direction and feedback, have better results from their teams – period.
2. Workplace burnout is reduced to zero among engaged employees with high well-being who also work in a culture that honors individual strengths. This year, leaders learned that employee wellbeing is an essential form of business survival. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business and your customers.
3. Most performance management systems are too slow and rigid to handle an uncertain, ever changing marketplace. Infrequent and irregular feedback and goal setting become irrelevant before the next annual review. The pandemic exposed flaws in the system. Moving forward, your managers need to be trained on HOW to have frequent, timely, informal conversations with quarterly progress reviews so that expectations can change as often as your business does.
It goes without saying, 2020 has been one of the most difficult work years in my decades of working in the human resources space. I’ve been amazed at the resilience of employees who’ve had a variety of challenges thrown in their way this year. For the most part, employees are bearing up to it. The one or two things you can do, as a leader or a manager is to support your employees whole heartedly whether it’s a work challenge or a personal challenge.
Leaders make a difference when they show they care about the people who work for them.