What does it take to be one of the ‘50 Best Places to Work’ in 2020?
The Great Place to Work Institute has released a new research study highlighting the best workplaces, worthy of envy, in 2020. Looking at the results of this study, we can see what it takes to be a leader during these challenging times.
Health and Safety
A strong area of focus was on health and safety. With mental health and wellness the big focus of 2020, organisations are using tools like buddy systems and care packages to reach out and engage with staff. The top organisations implemented their own version of a health/wellness program to support their staff during the pandemic, with a focus on nutrition, movement, alcohol, sleep and mindfulness. Initiatives included circulating healthy tools and tips, recreating social atmospheres like virtual band practice and cooking classes. Some companies extended the ideology well beyond themselves, supporting vulnerable communities by offering local meal services and delivering their technology to hospitals and schools.
The ability to adapt innovatively and positively has bred a new approach to communication. Companies have created internal communication systems to boost group morale, a ‘high-touch-no-touch’ reaction, using virtual connection, increased frequency of communication and increased transparency in the business. With many employees feeling vulnerable during such uncertain times, organisations have found success in weekly town hall meetings, which allow their staff to participate in open Q&A sessions, and holding one-on-ones between team leaders and staff.
Transitioning & Change
A proactive and sympathetic approach has been taken by organisations to the changing work environment. Top organisations have assisted their staff in this transition by organising home delivery of equipment and furniture to establish their home office. One tech company, LogMeIn, established emergency remote work kits to assist other businesses going through rapid change.
A positive takeaway from all this upheaval is unity. While some organisations have had to reduce hours, this has been through voluntary pay cuts and leave without pay, shared by all levels of employment. Companies have provided options for wage reductions or donated annual leave to help maintain casual team members. Flexibility is now, more than ever, a focus for organisations moving forward. Some companies have allocated a self-care day each month, for employees to decompress and recharge, understanding that their employees are their best asset. Now that organisations have the resources and systems set up, we will find more flexible work arrangements available for staff as they transition back to the office.
What have we learnt?
It seems vitality, solidarity and support are on the rise for leading workplaces, and these are trends that will stick around while we navigate the next stages of Covid globally and the return to the workplace. The pandemic has given us opportunity to change the way we work and try new things. While working from home, we crave the connection and informal interaction of the office, the organisations that are making the effort to go further to communicate with their employees and unite them will find themselves with a stronger, more cohesive workforce coming out of the pandemic.
Read more to access ‘The Best Places to Work 2020’ document.
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