Recalibrating Employee Experience in the Post-Covid World

The Covid recovery phase is defined by several changes that will not just impact but completely transform many aspects of life as we know it. One aspect that is bound to see a drastic transformation is our workplace. For many of us, the remote workplace might become a permanent or at least a long-term reality, while some of us might head back to the office shortly. 

No matter what the case might be, one thing is for sure – from rethinking people priorities to taking employee-first measures, the post-Covid workplace will witness new trends and strategies that organisations and HRs will adapt to.

 To interpret and address the emerging trends at the workplace, Sodexo hosted a CHRO Power Panel discussion on Recalibrating EX in the Post-Covid World. Industry leaders including Ms. Paromita Roy, Head Total Rewards, Tata Steel Limited, Mr. Magesh Sambasivan, Head HR, Societe Generale Global Solution Centre and Mr. Srinath Krishnan, Country Manager, Total Rewards, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India represented this panel. Let’s look at some interesting insights shared by the HR Leaders from varied industries like manufacturing, financial services and technology, on what are the current practices and plans on enhancing employee experience in the post-Covid era.

Escalated Role of the Leadership

In the post-Covid world, the role of leadership will emerge as a safety net. In the current scenario, the overwhelming insecurity that surrounds individuals from all walks of life will give rise to a need for more adaptable and resilient leadership that is sensitive towards employees’ physical, mental, as well as emotional well-being. Empathy will be a crucial enabler for driving positive employee behaviour, while they take on the added workload of managing kids and families during the crises. Moreover, employees will now expect their employers to pay greater attention to their safety and provide more efficient health care facilities like insurance and 24×7 health support.

Aside from this, employees will also expect greater transparency from their leadership. Past few months have seen extreme uncertainty, which needs to be addressed in the post-Covid workplace. Employees require clear and consistent communication, along with trust from their employers to stay motivated to face the new normal. 

Digital Acceleration in Full Speed

The post-Covid world will be synonymous with rapid digitization. We can already see the speed at which organizations are adopting the digital-first approach. After all, if there’s anything that the pandemic has taught us, it’s the need to have a foolproof contingency plan and digitization ought to be a driving factor of this. 

There is vast potential in digitization to add value to employee experience in the new normal. As more and more companies look at different models to balance remote and physical workforces, organizational processes will see a host of changes. For instance, many organisations will adopt digital hiring and onboarding processes and allow candidates to interview remotely. Organizations will depend on tools and processes to digitally interact with remote teams.

Upskilling Will Become an Ongoing Process

Considering the many changes that we are seeing in the current scenario, it’s not shocking that many skills have now become redundant, on the other hand, this has also led to an increased demand for many other skills. Therefore, employees will continue to upskill themselves as they transition into the new way of working and thinking. This seems to have become an ongoing, crucial need that will be required to cater to in the changing landscapes. Employers will continue to invest in many online-learning platforms to enable their employees to upskill and re-skill to add greater significance. 

Changing Employee Benefits

As organisations across the world find a way to return to normal and an economic downturn stands before us, retaining top-performing employees becomes inevitable for employers. Employers will need to focus on enhancing employee experience and allowing their workforce to feel recognized and rewarded no matter where they work from. This will help encourage a sense of security and motivate employees to reach their full potential as they battle emotional, mental and in some cases, financial turmoil. Therefore, now is a great time to reconsider whether your employee benefits are appropriate for the changing world. Now that some employees are considering working remotely, digital benefits have become incredibly important. 

Flexible, Collaborative and Result-Oriented Culture

The success of the remote workplace brought forward the need to be result-oriented while evaluating the performance of employees. Employees are judged based on their productivity as opposed to the number of hours they spend in the office. This must be done in synchronization with business goals and while keeping a clear focus on revenue growth. This will drive the culture even in the post-Covid world as employees recognize the value of productivity as the most crucial evaluation parameter. 

This would also give rise to greater flexibility, for example, many companies will start allowing employees to bring their own devices (BYOD). However, when companies enable BYOD, it is necessary that they also implement seamless security measures that can safeguard confidential corporate data on personal devices. 

Aside from this, greater significance will also need to be given to creating a collaborative culture. Employers will continue to take measures like introducing buddy-programs or mentor-mentee systems in their organisations to prevent managers from getting overwhelmed by the emerging responsibilities in a digital work arrangement.

Trends prove that the post-Covid world will completely reset the workplace as we know it. Employees will have different expectations from their employers while HR managers will have to look at different policies for employee satisfaction and engagement. To dive deeper into this topic and gain insights into the valuable points shared by the respected panelists, watch the full panel discussion here.