Management, Wellbeing

Adjusting to new ways of working

15 June 2020 by Heidi Marshall

The chaos and turbulence of the last few months has resulted in a number of significant changes in working practices, as observed by L&D, Talent and HR professionals at our client organisations. 

It's been an incredibly challenging time for the majority of organisations and millions of employees across the country. While we continue to grapple with the uncertainty of what the 'new normal' will look like for us personally and professionally, the actions of individual employees and leaders are accumulating to form an unprecedented organisational culture change. Here are some of the themes that are emerging.

  • A renewed focus on responding quickly to the needs of customers and clients. 
  • Increased pace of delivery within HR – from collaborating on writing new policies and guides to adopting new technology.
  • A change in perception that learning and communications can be delivered digitally.
  • Risk averse organisations that would never have previously considered large-scale homeworking have adapted to new ways of working, at speed. 
  • Acceleration of leadership initiatives that had previously been slow-moving. 
  • Delivery of just-in-time learning, driven by what employees really want and need. 
  • A ramping up of authentic communicationfrom senior leaders.
  • Closer alignment of L&D and well-being – with signs that this blended approach to supporting the workforce will remain post-Covid. 
  • Refreshing push for mental health support with a noticeable increase in a willingness for colleagues to help one another. 
  • Bringing to life deep-rooted organisational values and beliefs, showing humane and empathetic attitudes towards others.
  • A sense of openness and people feeling more connected when working from home – a breaking down of hierarchical barriers and leaders becoming more visible and accessible.
  • A move towards a fail fast, learn fast culture by having real examples of what this means and how it is beneficial.
  • A noticeable increase in creativity and innovation. 

These new ways of working were noted in organisations in a range of industry sectors, from logistics and financial services to healthcare and media. Increased levels of agility, connectivity and empathy are being played out in organisations across the world and the role of leaders now is to harness the good that has come out of the crisis. 

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