The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way the world works forever.
Workers are keen to influence their employer’s business strategy (54%), company culture (55%) and workplace experience (59%). Interesting, this grows to 65%, 64% and 67% respectively for Gen Z employees.
They are also very positive about how HR tech has enabled them to communicate (90%) and collaborate (88%) during the pandemic, as well as work more effectively with clients, during the pandemic.
In response to this, BCW and Workplace from Facebook recommended that leaders must foster this empowerment in the future, primarily by adopting a new style of leadership that listens to the demands and priorities of employees.
Employees from across the world told BCW and Workplace from Facebook said they would love their current job and employer if their expectations of leadership were not met. This rose to 21% for Gen Z and 18% for millennials.
A new style of leadership
So, on the flip side, what must leaders change about how they manage organizations in order to retain their staff?
They must make genuine commitments around culture and workplace flexibility.
67% of workers surveyed by BCW and Workplace from Facebook want flexible hours or hybrid working options; this is the top change they are looking for from their leaders.
They are also demanding meaningful work, being supporting and valued at work by their managers and colleagues, as well as better benefits and more effective leadership.
Further to this, employees want leaders to transparent in their communications, understanding of teams and employee needs, and be more approachable.
Essentially, the employees want companies to continue with the progress that was made during the pandemic, particularly around leadership listening more to feedback (59%), improvements to company culture (58%) and work-life balance (60%).
Therefore, it is crucial that companies do not dial back on any improvements they have made – for instance in improving wellbeing and tackling burnout – as a study by Modern Health found 60% of employers are considering.
Talking about the findings, BCW head of transformation James Morley commented: “The results show that the increased flexibility and effort made by organizations to connect and engage with employees throughout the pandemic has paid dividends.
“Employees are feeling more valued, more empowered, and more vocal about their expectations in the workplace.
“As leaders prepare for the ‘next normal’ – including moves to implement return to office policies – they need to be mindful of these expectations and needs.
“Employees increasingly want their voices heard, and failure to adequately address that will likely lead to high rates of attrition – particularly among younger generations.”
Workplace from Facebook global director Christine Trodella added: “It’s great to see employees feeling more empowered to effect positive change within their organizations.
As people return to work, they’ll expect this to continue.
“For businesses, this means ongoing investment in the employee experience and continued focus on empathy and authenticity.
“Employee expectations will continue to increase whether workers are desk-based or on the frontline and businesses will need to make sure they’re turning these expectations around culture, collaboration and connectivity into reality.”
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