Remote work is now the norm for many organizations and there are certainly perks - easier hiring (anyone, anywhere), more diverse teams and flexible employee schedules.
But for new employees who have worked entirely remotely with their new companies, it can be hard to feel like you’re fitting in and to understand what the organization is all about if you’ve never met anyone face-to-face. This has led to higher turnover in some cases, as the employees haven’t had a chance to integrate themselves into culture and aren’t making those “magical” connections that face to face brings.
Does this gap in engagement and experience call for a reform in how the (digital) workplace looks?
So, what is the great resignation that has been all over business news media?
Our company is rapidly expanding (in full disclosure this partly due to increased demand from COVID-19). We’ve brought many new faces onboard in the past 18 months, including some that are entirely remote, so this scenario is giving me a reason to pause and consider if that’s the case here at iTacit.
Our team has traditionally been one that enjoys working together in person. We like to meet up for activities, have regular stand-ups and drop by each other’s desk for a quick chat and joke.
We’ve transitioned from a 100% office staff to a hybrid model where face-to-face time is no longer guaranteed. That’s a complete change from how we usually operate!
We’ve turned to being an ‘always on, always connected’ kind of team now. There’s always a conversation going on, and I’d argue that we’ve become a more open and transparent workplace thanks to these changes.
Here is what I am thinking about the great resignation
This thread from LinkedIn News’ editorial team was what started me down this stream of thoughts, and I’ve been reflecting on our past year and how we’ve been fortunate to be such a tight group.
Some of the challenges and issues raised by the leaders highlighted in LinkedIn News’ roundup got me thinking, so I felt like it was worth musing over what I’ve noticed and what I think could help some through this time of the Great Resignation.
- First off, even though things are changing yet again, some of us are going back into the office and the news is posting about the Great Resignation, please don’t give up on the positive changes and practices you’ve started. Keep those cameras on during meetings, reach out with messages throughout the day and stay in touch with one another.
- Integrate your remote hiring/onboarding processes into whatever you do in the future. I predict that the office of tomorrow (check out this report from Deloitte Canada for more on this) will be based on choice—work wherever, whenever, and so on. So, present recent and new additions to the team with choices for how their onboarding experience will work. First impressions count!
- You can have all of these great tools on hand to do as I’ve mentioned and stay in touch, hire remotely and so on, but it’s more about how you put them to use than just implementing them. Try to use your digital toolbox to make collaboration a constant option, give everyone a mix of autonomy + guidance, and open up a channel where feedback and transparency are king.
Above everything here, remember to know what you’re all about and how you’re showing that. Culture changes organically with the people and circumstances, but company culture starts with what you’re telling everyone on day one. This piece from Caroline Castrillon for Forbes really zeroes in on this and should be resource for all of us during these times.
Your (digital) workplace doesn’t look like mine—and that’s OK
Focus on your people, hire to complement your culture, ditch the ‘fit’ mentality, and we’ll all grow through this turning point for company culture and the workforce.
Luke is a results-focused, high-energy visionary leader with a focus in the area of leadership and business strategy. He has a "will to win" attitude with a proven track record in creating business value and an engaged workforce.