The strain on the employer-employee dynamic has been non-stop since the pandemic sent people looking for home office cover nearly three years ago. The cycle has played out almost like the stages of grief.
Great resignation and quiet complacency won’t help in the tech workplace
denial. anger. compromise. depression. They have taken various forms – including the widely dated Big resignationfollowed by the assumed Calm calm. Recently, those have given way to grudging acceptance — and the recognition that widespread layoffs at big tech companies and the specter of a global recession may mean it’s best to keep whatever job you have. For now at least.
All of which is why, as someone with over 20 years of experience as a human resources executive in the tech industry, I was struck by a recent survey by the Conference Board of Workers. The main finding of the research: People are working harder, perhaps more than ever. What they lack, however, is a sense of involvement in their work.
Finally – figuring out which direction I can relate to! I’ve always believed that in order to constructively address the stress and turmoil of today’s world of work, sharing is key. Or rather, what I refer to as The Great Re-engagement.
How to re-engage to make the tech workplace even better next year
And as I look forward to what might lie ahead in the tech industry in 2023, I like to make suggestions about how employers can not only retain the tech talent they have, but to really re-engage them in the ways that matter most. . I know this is a topic ReadWrite cares about, as is evident in articles like this and that. Our company is among the companies that, despite current macroeconomic prospects, are finding that reconnecting with their employees can reap the benefits.
However, success is only possible if the people leading an organization remain keenly aware of the extent of real change in the social contract between companies and the people they work for.
Flexible working models are here to stay
The game has changed – it’s no longer about where we work – but how we work better.
workplace technology It has enabled us to be more connected, collaborative and inclusive than ever before – if we use this technology to its best advantage. Think about how much we’ve all learned about what’s good and what’s not in Zoom, Google Meet, or a WebEx meeting (or whatever app you’re using), as well as the limits of group or individual video meetings can achieve.
The new hybrid ergonomics
I think we’ll see companies continue to evolve their technology, and their office spaces need to accommodate this new hybrid work environment — one that employees are not only used to, but seem to prefer to be in person every day.
A healthy work-life balance
However, even with advantages that can come with freedom Work from anywhere And time saved from fewer daily commutes, we’ve all experienced new kinds of stress. That includes struggling to achieve a healthy work-life balance now that the boundaries between home and home office are so blurred. And when we don’t see our colleagues every day, it can be difficult to build the relationships necessary to develop and share a company culture and a sense of community.
A new type of support system is coming
Whether as leaders, managers, or teammates, we demand new types of support systems that have not traditionally been part of a company’s commitment to its colleagues.
Mental health in the workplace will become less of a taboo
In 2023, I think we’ll continue to see an increase in mental health challenges for employees and their families. This is true not only because work stress I described above but because external issues like economic uncertainty, political polarization, and existential threats like climate change — they are all amplified by social media, which seems designed to stir up our feelings and anxieties.
Many people these days admit to feeling stressed and Exhaustion from work Acknowledgment that in an earlier era it would have been seen as a sign of weakness. But 20 or 30 years ago, there was a much stronger social contract. The employees had connections outside of work, whether to places of worship, civic groups, or other forms of community involvement.
Find the connection at work
Today, many of these social pillars are not as strong as they once were, or are simply not part of the experience of many of today’s generation of workers. Employees, despite their stress, are hungry for communication — not outside of their jobs but within their work. Employers, in turn, must recognize this hunger of society and respond to it.
Some of the ways our company has responded is by providing access to Groups, teams and chats that speak to the social framework of society. We now have seven employee groups – consisting of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Employee Affinity Groups (EAGs). These groups are dynamic and passionate about driving lasting and impactful change.
Comprehensive advocacy in the workplace
Our ERG groups are designed to promote an inclusive workplace by supporting underrepresented groups – including LGBTQ+, people with different abilities, people from different cultural backgrounds, women in tech, and military veterans. Our goal is for employees to feel more connected to Commvault by providing the space for them to bring their unique personality traits, to be part of a community of collective thought leaders, and to be advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Similar background and interests
Our Employee Affinity Groups (EAGs) – incl Family support and the environment Designed to bring together employees with similar backgrounds or interests. It can have a powerful impact in the workplace. Both types of employee groups have a global reach and host monthly virtual meetings, as well as virtual events for all companies, for people from around the world to come together to connect and be inspired.
Another way we can help our employees and colleagues feel more connected, and part of the community, could be as simple as the occasional phone call — not a Zoom chat — for no reason other than to ask, “How are you?” Then pause long enough to really listen.
Vulnerability and empathy are the hallmarks of a great leader
The past few years have exposed the human side of all of us – good or bad, strengths and weaknesses. We’re hearing more and more from employees that they want personal interactions with leaders who emphasize empathy, support, and care.
Find empathy and direct your team to do the same
“Empathy” is a word I could have been fired for if I had used it sooner Human resources professionIn the days of corporate hierarchy of command and control. However, now more than ever, leaders need the tools to understand each employee’s unique journey as well as the benefits that support them. To be effective, leaders will need to truly embrace and celebrate “the human being” at work this year.
What’s more, if the people at the top of the organization chart have worked their way up as command and control during their careers, there’s a good chance the middle-level managers below are steeped in that same tradition.
In reality, though, in today’s “flatter” organizations, where the management chain is less hierarchical, and people at all levels are encouraged to reach out to whomever they need in order to do their job best, I think middle level managers are It may have been harder than ever to actually supervise teams.
Empathy and people skills are just as important to team leaders as they are to the occupants of Suite C. The point is: we all have to recognize the value of being human first. This is an attitude our company was working to solidify even before the pandemic, and we’re proud that it seems to permeate our company culture.
Worldwide, we have around 2,800 employees. A few months ago, we conducted an internal survey to measure our progress in this regard. We were pleased to have the highest ever participation rate in an employee survey – over 80 percent.
And over 600 respondents have taken the time to not only check the boxes but to write fuller responses – an exceptional engagement rate. Always looking for top gear, we combed through feedback to see where we could address friction between teams and address business challenges. Remarkably, 90 percent of all respondents said they trusted their manager, and almost as many said they believed their managers cared about them as much as people.
As Head of Personnel, I am proud of what we, the people, have accomplished in the new and still evolving world of work. But now is not the time to rest. We are just getting started. In the coming year, we will aim to continue to make progress in our collective efforts at The Great Re-Engagement – to continue to improve the technical workplace.
Learn to adapt
To continue to adapt our organizations to the new flexible working model, we aim to ensure we do everything we can to foster a sense of community and promote mental health. We all want to continue honing our skills as leaders, managers and colleagues in the art of human empathy as we encourage you and your organization to do the same.
From my company to yours, we wish you all the best in a successful, prosperous and human-centered 2023.
Featured Image Credit: Photography by Mikhail Nilov; pixels. Thank you!