Driving without the rearview mirror can be scary. However that is now becoming the new normal, so let’s begin to like it! We are getting into a zone, where years of experience is not the best reference nor is of enormous value and that is going to be a hard realization.
At this point, more than data and experience, it is our gut feeling that is going to help us steer through. Discovering, discerning, and more importantly accepting this new normal will take some time according to me; the faster we do, the better we will be.
Management of workforce in general and driving employee experience, in particular, will be put to test more than ever in the days to come. There are a few developments that are fuelling this challenge.
Firstly, a lot of companies will begin to look at home-based working as a viable alternative and will look to maximize it.
Secondly, employees will choose to be or asked to be home-based to increase their efficiency and output, not just for mere flexibility.
Thirdly, millennials who form a large portion of the current workforce will have gone through a transformation for home-based working, and will no longer be seen as not being responsible enough.
All of these will add to the dynamics of people management and workforce engagement. One thing is imminent, people leaders will be at the grind to rethink, redefine, and recreate employee experience. Driving virtual team culture, virtual collaboration and virtual engagement are going to be the new nuances of people’s leadership and central to the new employee experience.
CDK Global India, as a Great Place to Work-Certified™ (GPTW) organization has already got us into the driver’s seat in this regard. Most of these elements have been deeply ingrained in the fabric of our work culture. Remote working is part of our workplace practices since inception, people leaders have been well-groomed and successfully leading virtual teams, and our tools and systems were fully aligned to enable these. Some of our distinctive engagement initiatives that went beyond the employees, such as ‘Career Drive’ – a program designed for teenagers to develop career awareness, and ‘Fun Task It’ – creating an opportunity for the younger children to explore their creative minds; continue to make our employee experience exclusive.
Some of our distinctive engagement initiatives that went beyond the employees, such as ‘Career Drive’ – a program designed for teenagers to develop career awareness, and ‘Fun Task It’ – creating an opportunity for the younger children to explore their creative minds; continue to make our employee experience exclusive.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged lockdown period, the most impending need for every individual has been to re-establish three things – ‘work as usual’, ‘business as usual’ and ‘life as usual’ as part of restoring normalcy. Again these are the key components of the often talked about work-life balance in the new normal, that got disrupted significantly. While the basics of driving employee experience will not change even in these challenging times, there is an all-time new addition now – the need for building psychological safety as a hygiene factor. Time to use all our brains and borrow as many as we can to decode the psychological safety needs.
These needs could be broadly classified as needs of safety of one’s health and that of the family, safety concerning one’s financial conditions, and safety of one’s job. People leaders can create and build Psychological safety by acknowledging the employee sentiments around these, by assuring them flexibility, by being open, by co-creating solutions and being patient. Leaders need to be sensible about and sensitive to two predominant tendencies that can be competing with each other i.e., the challenge of rebuilding the organization and the challenge of regaining the lost revenue. People leaders in their zest to be seen as successful during these times, should not get confused about what should be their priority.
Leaders need to be sensible about and sensitive to two predominant tendencies that can be competing with each other i.e., the challenge of rebuilding the organization and the challenge of regaining the lost revenue. People leaders in their zest to be seen as successful during these times, should not get confused about what should be their priority.
At CDK, the leadership team stood up to address the psychological safety of our employees as the holistic need of the hour, through constant connection, communication, and care. We reaffirmed trust in our employees and their commitment to creating world-class products and services through investment in their learning and career progression even during these tough times. Our return to work process is also built around the principles of ‘make it safe’, ‘keep it safe’ and ‘feel it safe’.
We have enabled our employees through a home-grown application – ‘CDK Safe’ to periodically assess the status of self and family’s health and well being. In short, our employees are empowered to make the right decision at the right time and to do the right thing and that is how we continue to make CDK an amazing workplace for our people.