Top People and Change Trends for 2022
Top people and Change Trends for 2022
As we look forward to the festive season, we are offered an opportunity to reflect on another extraordinary year.
If problems are just learning opportunities in disguise, then the past year must surely have been packed with rich educational experiences for leaders everywhere.
Coping with big challenges such making hybrid teams work and deciding when, or whether, to get people back in the office, have meant that leaders themselves have had to shift to become more agile themselves.
Here’s a few ideas about how to keep ahead of the change curve that is coming at you in 2022.
Re-align your culture
Hybrid working is happening and it is likely your culture will need to catch up. When we think about culture, we think about a common set of behaviours, plus the underlying mindsets that shape how people work and interact day to day. Some leaders are thinking about what a new culture and a new way of working might look like, and how to shift behaviours in a primarily hybrid world. Others are saying that they need everybody back in the office to preserve their culture. But you can’t assume that you will return to the same culture that existed prepandemic. There’s been too much change, both at the individual level and at the business level. For example, visible signals like dress code, where and how the employees do their job, and social conduct used to be some of the key drivers of company culture. Now the concept of where and when the job gets done and what type of attire they wear is becoming less important. Instead, companies are focusing on whether the job is getting done and whether their people are feeling comfortable or not.
People engagement and communications
There have been two trends emerging. One is immediate and involves getting regular feedback on policies, guidelines and well-being. Pulse surveys are a way of collecting frequent and authentic feedback that replace many of the insights that leaders used to get walking around. They help leaders to pick up on staff sentiment and issues quickly enabling them to respond in real time. The second is about shaping the future. How do we create new rituals combining what we’ve learned in the pandemic? We’ve learned some virtual interactions can be special. At the same time, we probably need to bring back some in-person events that help people feel connected in different ways.
People engagement and communications is hugely important. Successful organisations are investing in in modern training and onboarding techniques that involve a blended, on-demand, and contextual approach that encourages interaction and is often available 24/7 for problem-solving. The use of gamification to engage, motivate and gain real-time feedback is proving to be increasingly successful in the hybrid-environment and where scaling up fast is required.
Ensuring an inclusive workplace
Is there a risk with a hybrid workplace that a two-tier system emerges? Remote workers become less visible, almost taking on a second-class status, whilst being in-person, means more interactions with those in positions of power? It is important to be intentional about managing for inclusivity. Set norms so that people who are not in the office feel included. For example, follow up regularly to see how remote workers are doing and what their underlying needs are and re-think how to build connectivity more broadly. Every senior leadership team should be looking at a dashboard that’s a mix of performance and health and developing clear metrics that allow them to steer toward success.
As the year draws to a close, we take this opportunity to say a wholehearted thank you, and from our family to your, wish you a wonderful festive season as well as a happy and healthy New Year.
Lindsey, Karly and Michael at Change Corp.
Culture in the Hybrid Workplace – McKinsey Podcast June 11th 2021.
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