There’s no doubt that the global pandemic will have long-reaching impacts on the way we work, many of them still unknown. The ripple effect is likely to be felt for years.
In their recent ‘Resetting normal’ report, The Adecco Group found several big themes that will define the new era of work, including better flexibility, the end of 9-5, creating a different kind of leadership (empathy and wellbeing), and the need for employers to be proactive in driving the new era.
For companies that wish to thrive beyond Covid, these themes – and potentially many others – will become a key focus in employee engagement strategies over the next few months and years. It sounds daunting and almost impossible, especially for those returning from the brink of collapse.
But at the heart of it, of success, lies the employees. The heart and engine of the company. The differentiator. And the key to success. Company culture is no longer a buzzword to be thrown around as a nice to have, it’s the threshold by which companies ride or die. If the themes above are the levers that help a company thrive, then company culture is the oasis of success at the end of the journey. It’s proof that things are working.
Before you embark on a multitude of change management projects – reinventing your leaders, changing working patterns and upskilling employees – it’s important to reflect on the underlying driver that will sustain you through change(s). Your company story. If your employees are the characters in your ongoing journey, then your culture is the story that envelopes everything: every opportunity and change, every leader and leaver. So, get your story right first and everything else becomes part of a bigger journey.
We know that story is renowned for making change feel safer. It is the safety net above which big change can happen. Think about it: during an episode of your favourite television series, your cortisol levels will rise significantly with the increasing tension of the main character’s plight. But it’s okay. Because you know that a resolution is coming, a higher purpose. So, you accept your rising cortisol and you hang on for the ride. Imagine if we all did the same thing when we went through big change? It would be revolutionary.
So, if you’re asking yourself any of these question: How do I motivate employees? How do I improve employee engagement or company culture? Stop. Ask yourself this question instead: How do I create a company story that inspires employees on the journey ahead, and empowers them to overcome the challenges? Because when you’re in a long-running story, everything feels safer and more achievable, even throughout adversity. Afterall, it’s the challenges that shape the heroes.
At Write the Talk we’ve mastered the science and craft of long-running narratives that change how people feel and behave, for the long term.
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