Four COVID lessons to recharge organisations for the future
Bain & Company
Recent research by Bain & Company suggests that forward-thinking leaders are focusing on four COVID-19 lessons to recharge their organisations for the future.
- Make purpose the imperative. Prior to the crisis, only three in ten employees could identify their company‘s purpose. It was often too generic, lacking depth and meaning, and not clearly tied to corporate expertise. For many, COVID-19 has changed that. A majority report feeling proud of their company’s support of the community through the crisis.
- Tap the advantages of a distributed workforce. As jobs decouple from location, talent pools open up. Companies will increasingly find the skills they need in the ecosystem of partnerships they have formed in recent years.
- Make the most of frontline managers. 62% of respondents report that decision making has improved in their organisation since the crisis hit and that more of it has moved to the front line.
- Embrace agile at scale. Nearly three-quarters of employees surveyed report that their teams are working with greater agility. Teams are prioritising better, embracing the concept of creating a minimum viable product and then improving on it, and doing more cross-functional teaming.
How to keep remote employees mentally healthy
Here are some ideas about how the remote world can offer creative ways to support mental health.
- Create healthy eating clubs so workers share recipes or motivate each other
- Encourage workers to develop literal boundaries between their professional and personal lives. Help them create a dedicated workspace so they can deliberately "arrive and leave" work.
- Give subscriptions to meditation or mental wellness apps such as Headspace or Calm.Initiate company-wide virtual exercise challenges.Offer online desk-yoga or meditation sessions.
- Provide access to webinars about mental health and wellness topics.
- Promote free and anonymous mental health screenings such as https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools.
- Schedule virtual workout classes during the workday.
Strategies to improve workplace satisfaction
McKinsey & Company
This article argues that there is one essential area where companies can create enormous value: job satisfaction. Because of the connection between happiness at work and overall life satisfaction, improving employee happiness makes a material difference to workers but also boosts profitability and enhances organisational health.
Leaders who take this message seriously can draw on well-established literature for how to change mindsets and behaviours in an organisation. Four ingredients are required:
- Understanding and conviction conveyed through a compelling change story that solicits better behaviour from bosses and supervisors. Leaders might start by educating bosses and supervisors about the enormous positive and negative impact they have on the lives of the people who report to them.
- Role modelling that demonstrates a leader’s personal belief and commitment to employee well-being. Nothing undermines a cultural-change initiative more thoroughly than lip service to a cause that leaders fail to follow through on themselves.
- Skill and confidence-building approaches to help managers create better employee experiences. To accomplish this, organisations can provide access to meditation apps and training courses that encourage mindfulness and self-awareness. Senior leaders can build on design-thinking practices that question established behaviours and reframe solutions to meet the unique needs of different employees.
- Formal mechanisms that reinforce the right behaviours. By praising and promoting the best managers, organisations also help fill their ranks with the right kinds of role models.