Gearing up to face the “new normal” at work

Work culture cannot and will not be the same after COVID-19. It is a truism that is almost universally acknowledged. The question is: precisely how has it changed and what do organisations need to do to meet the new challenges?

Several important answers are provided by the O.C. Tanner Institute, which has just released its landmark 2022, Global Culture Report, inspiringly titled: RETHINK. The research is extensively based on a sample size of 38,177 employees in businesses employing 500 or more across many industrialised countries. Indeed, it offers many insights which may cause everyone to pause and rethink.

The overarching conclusion that leaders need to absorb is encapsulated in the introduction: “In many industries, employees now call more shots, insisting on flexible work environments and leaving jobs, if necessary. But after a year and a half of remote or hybrid work and social distancing, the need for connection is nearly universal. Helping employees feel connected to purpose, accomplishments and one another – no matter where or when they work – is more important than ever.”

Three critical lessons emerge from the report:

  • Remote work worked but hybrid models provide a better employee experience
  • Recognition is more important than a ‘feel-good’ exercise-it impacts the strength of the connection between employees
  • Employee engagement is not the best metric to predict individual or organisational performance

Symmetra endorses the conclusions in the report. It is well worth the time for every leader and manager to read it.

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