Jill Jenkinson September 10 2021

Are your employees with you - or too exhausted to care!

In this blog from t-three Chief Executive Jill Jenkinson, discusses how to bring employees along with you on your transformational journey.

Big plans are afoot for many organisations. We are emerging from the pandemic (maybe!), questioning some pretty fundamental premises upon which we operate or even exist. It may not be new but somehow it feels more urgent.

Top teams, senior leaders dream big and aim high, business as usual, but quicker, overlaid with transformations to most aspects of how business is designed and done. So critically in the midst of this, where are our people - with us or just plain exhausted!

The research, both universally and within organisations does provide some answers or at least indications.

1. Flexible working is here to stay

Sounds like a given but hybrid models vary in degrees of prescription vs. permissions and there is very little consistency of what intent or practice. This does mean that this will become a decision point for employees, stay because it works or leave to go somewhere it works better for me?

2. Leaders are out of touch with employees.

Business leaders are doing better than their employees - seems to stem from their ability to make and influence decision and that ad hoc connection built around the water cooler/coffee machine has gone so the reality of how people are and feel is getting missed and in its absence, assumptions abound. 

3. Productivity may be high - but energy is not and is masking an exhausted workforce.

In-house surveys are one of the strongest indicators of people that feel overworked, over-pressured, with a sense that employees don’t care enough about their home/work balance.

4. Watch out for those most at risk.

The group most impacted by isolation, struggle most with motivation and are unable to create productive workspaces at home, are those between the ages of 18-25.

So, what’s the answer?

If you want employees with you, as ambitious plans are shaped for the future, the answer is unfortunately not singular or simple. Maybe we need to harness the incredible thing that has emerged over the last period, new confidence with being authentic, not hiding kids and pets, and even sharing that it’s all a bit rubbish!

Instead of assuming, relying on the lens of leaders actually engage in conversation, (not surveys) to hear the real voices of employees and what they now need to belong, and travel with you to the future.

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