Organization Development

Jun 05, 2022 11 min read

Becoming the employer of choice in the new normal

Dr. Vidhu Gaur is an MBA and holds Doctorate Degree in English Literature from University of Kota, Rajasthan. She also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Communication Management from ISC Pune. She is currently working as Assistant Professor (Business Communication) at MDI, Gurgaon

The concept of the workplace has transformed drastically since the outbreak of the pandemic, possibly forever. The characteristics that were earlier positioned to define a great & innovative workplace have vanished in the last 18 months. Today, COVID has added new dimensions to the offerings that are crucial in determining a preferred employer among all generations.

To further comprehend this new normal and be ahead of the competition, we must examine the new wave of differentiators. Let's take a look at what workplace can offer through the lens of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and delve deep into how the pandemic has impacted the corporate branding strategies.

Physiological Needs Hybrid Work Model

Work From Home model has become the standard operating procedure across most industries in the past year. Companies have been obliged to adjust to the shifting demands and adopt this way of functioning. Many businesses revamped their work style for a long duration of WFH by providing work infrastructure to their staff in the domains like IT, ergonomic furniture, internet connection etc. In this light, WFH no longer remains a luxury, but rather the only viable choice.

The best of the firms goes above and beyond by establishing hybrid work rules that allow for long- term flexibility. They're taking advantage of this little pause to experiment with new ways of working juxtaposed with fostering a sense of satisfaction among the employees. Organizations that use the hybrid approach will blend remote and on-site work. Employees are more likely to come to work

only 2-3 days a week, or every other week and that too on a basis of voluntary agreement or the business demands. The leaders' thoughts are filled with more questions than answers as we migrate to a hybrid form of functioning. However, it's safe to assume that the future of work is hybrid, and that hybrid working rules will become a major differentiator in the near future across industries.

Work Life Balance

Companies can no longer brag about their telecommuting policies and how they help employees achieve work-life balance. Employees are at an impending risk of frequent burnout as the demarcation between work and home fades and work-life stress increases.

The old notions of working in an office are being challenged by remote-first organisations. They provide us with a glimpse into the future of employment. They've built a strong working environment for mobile individuals who don't want to be tied to the four walls of an office. It's vital to strike the correct balance between WFH, WFO and their connect to the personal life, if you want to recruit talent in the new normal.

Workspace Design

The office's role is changing at a quick pace as well. The office is no longer only a place where outstanding work may be done. It is, nevertheless, a platform for teamwork, collaboration, and creation. It's a social media network that gives people a break from the monotony of working from home. We're seeing the office transform into break-out zones where colleagues can catch up over coffee, brainstorm over foosball, and scribble plans on paper napkins – work can always be done from home. Offices are becoming into hangout spots for catching up, as well as gathering places for cooperation, connecting, and celebration. While productivity used to be the office mantra, today it's collaboration, celebration, and connection.

Safety Needs Wellbeing

Insurance coverage and employee wellness programmes are being reviewed by businesses across all industries. When it comes to ranking top employers, the phrase "people over profits" has become a harsh gauge for the prospective contenders. In addition to workplace safety and hygiene, businesses are going to great lengths to safeguard the physical, financial, and mental well-being of a workforce that is more stressed than ever before. In addition to the economic uncertainties, the pandemic has eliminated all channels for catharsis, leaving families financially and psychologically ruined.

Working Hours

Traditional business hours are no longer considered "normal," with calls often stretching into the evening, disturbing valuable personal and family time. As a result, some businesses are taking steps to implement policies that limit working hours and provide time for employees to recover.

OSH Compliance

The compliance towards organizational safety and health has been on the radar for the companies since long but the pandemic has magnified it to further extent.

The assurance of a safe workplace and regular tracking of incidents has been prioritized especially in the manufacturing industries. Regular checking of employee health & vaccination status needs to be followed going ahead so as to ensure the safety of other employees.

Love & Belonging Inclusive Work Culture

Is your culture evolving to meet the needs of today's mobile-first generation? Do you have the processes, rules, and infrastructure in place to support the development of culture across several locations? Workplace culture has been the most affected by the pandemic. Workplaces have become more work-oriented and less team-oriented as a result of social alienation and WFH routines. As firms prepare their teams and workplaces for virtual engagement and culture creation, this will be a major focus area.

Open Communication

Today's leaders don't have the luxury of "walking around management." This disconnect must be addressed immediately using alternative, sometimes more forceful ways. Building a disciplined internal communications engine that supports an agile and transparent culture is critical for businesses.

Celebrating Families

The demarcation between work and personal life has faded in the WFH scenario. Workplaces that are going to be upfront in implementation of policies and practises that include employees' families are more likely to retain their employees in a long run. Employee engagement and involvement in the organisation are positively impacted by initiatives such as yearly family day, brining kids at work, and family perks.

Esteem

Social Media Recognition

The time is perfect for businesses to embrace the power of social media to improve internal communication channels. Social recognition on a periodic basis, whether through Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Workplace, is a strong state-of-the-art tool for boosting the morale of a remote, virtual team already disconnected physically.

Employee morale and self-esteem has dropped as a result of remote working, which can increase stress and impact their wellbeing. Companies can now leverage the social media presence to share their success stories with a larger audience.

Self-Actualization

Learning and Growth Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic in last 18 months has come up with a great number of

challenges as well as opportunities for the employees. As the number of younger people in the workforce is growing, so is the need to satisfy their demand for professional career development in a long run. The clarity of the growth opportunities provided by an employer is vital to attract the right talent at an organization.

The shift to online learning platforms has opened up plethora of options for employees to meet their learning goals. The organizations must provide access to such online platforms to upskill the talent.

CSR

The CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is an important factor for employer branding and overall business success. As a result, CSR should be integrated into the business rather than being a separate endeavour altogether. Organizations that prioritise employee well-being, community development, diversity, and environmental sustainability have a better chance of succeeding than those that do not, according to research.

     

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