In the delicate new normal phase, companies are facing a dual challenge: keeping their employees’ productivity high, as well as ensuring the sustainability of the business.
When it comes to corporate strategy, people wellbeing and engagement are really coming under the spotlight. Especially as people are gradually returning to the office after a stressful and uncertain pandemic period. For managers, this means effectively responding to employee needs in terms of work-life balance, employee satisfaction and engagement.
Recent research shows that in 2021, people often weighed up their stability and salary when deciding whether to stay with their company or look for another job. But there’s often another factor that isn’t considered much: wellbeing. The pandemic has only highlighted the importance of work-life balance for people, and now more than ever they’re talking about their needs in that area.
Satisfaction generates productivity
Other aspects such as meritocracy and the gender gap layer on top of this, directly impacting employee motivation (negatively or positively, depending on the situation). Back in 1968, American psychologist Frederick Herzberg was already talking about this issue. In his paper One more time: How do you motivate employees?, he emphasised how important it was to note the difference between actions and motivations, as well as how employee motivation can make or break a company.
According to the study, employees that feel most in synergy with the corporate vision and feel involved in developing and growing their professional profiles, are more motivated and align to corporate objectives more easily. They often work passionately to boost the reputation and the productivity of their company.
Make space for feelings
So increased satisfaction boosts productivity. But on the other hand, we’re going through a huge social change. That’s why we can’t avoid people’s feelings at work: they must become a part of our everyday working lives. Living through and sharing our emotions at work (without constraining them to the personal sphere) can become fundamental in increasing people’s retention, engagement and productivity.
In order to reach these objectives, it’s important to keep an open dialogue between teams. Managers take on the challenge of continuing conversations even when working remotely, putting people and their needs at the centre.
Human sustainability will become increasingly important in business. It’s all about caring for employees each day, going beyond professional boundaries to support their wellbeing. This in turn will drive innovation and productivity.
From here we can develop the idea of the HR footprint. HR teams have the opportunity to make their own mark on the world of work, to favour a new vision of human capital.