While our children and young workers are digital natives, my perspective comes from a different era. But brace yourselves, as what I'm about to reveal will send shivers of realization down your spine.
I'm a digital native worker. Wait, what? I have never worked in a classic office environment that was not hybrid or remote. And there are many people like me. You might be one of them as well. Have you ever thought of that? There are many of us.
An unpopular opinion: Many experts believe we need more data to understand the impacts of remote work or hybrid models on people's lives and performance, but I respectfully disagree. Rather than waiting for more data, we should focus on a collective effort and use the existing expertise and proven systems to create a positive impact ASAP.
Waiting for a decade to collect enough data to convince skeptical senior leaders is a nice-to-have pacifier. People and organizations need to do things well at present, or they risk damaging the lives of their employees and eradicating their entire companies.
There are two things we can do to immediately gather data that would be critical to make a positive impact.
1) Effective Employee Feedback Collection and Behavioral Analysis: Implementing multiple surveys and reports will help track the well-being and performance of individuals without having to wait for a decade to get enough data. Open (yet data-driven) communication with employees is essential to understand their needs and well-being. Clear metrics should be attached to behavioral analyses and survey results to measure progress and identify areas of improvement and support.
Note: this is a fundamental leadership approach in the online community management space that has existed since the Internet was born. That was a long time ago.
2) Clear Business Goals and Metrics for Success: Businesses must define precise and aligned goals at all levels—individual, team, and organizational—to track success effectively. Use visual representations for a comprehensive view of progress and ensure communication resonates with all employees, including neurotypical and neurodivergent, fostering alignment with company direction, objectives, and employee growth.
Companies can receive instant employee well-being and performance data by adopting these two approaches.
According to Gallup's 2023 report, employees have been experiencing increased stress over the past ten years. The current way of working, heavily influenced by technology, demands immediate action as there is ample data to recognize its negative impact on employees.
It is crucial to acknowledge that the world has undergone fundamental changes long before the pandemic. In a way, the pandemic catapulted us 40 years ahead regarding remote work location, NOT capabilities. The capabilities have been there for much longer.
However, the current approach to work, regardless of location, is detrimental to employee well-being across many organizations.
This is the perfect time to look closely at the world's happiest companies and learn from their practices. It's an opportunity to come together as a collective community and share what strategies have worked effectively and what have not.
We have enough data and brilliant minds to build thriving workplaces today, not ten years later.
So, let's embrace this moment of transformation and create a brighter and more fulfilling future for everyone in the workforce. The time to act is now.
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