Workplace culture has changed after nearly two years of disruption to the fabric of society and has resulted in a collective shift in people’s relationships with work.
According to the annual Fjord Trends report from Accenture, considerable job insecurity and workplace uncertainty has pushed companies to rethink their culture to meet employee’s new needs, priorities, and expectations.
The report provides practical guidance for companies to deliver value and relevance to their customers, employees and society.
Employees reassessing their workplace wants
It says employees are re-assessing what they want and expect from a company culture and employee value proposition. This means that in 2022, enhancing workplace flexibility, benefits packages, and greater employee care and compassion will continue. It is expected to create both challenges and opportunities for businesses looking to retain and recruit talent.
Chief design officer at Accenture Interactive, Abbie Walsh says “The pandemic has resulted in lasting changes to the way we live. We have seen the effects of ‘The Great Resignation,’ with employees leaving jobs and even careers in droves.
“We now have a job seekers’ market and organisations need to work harder than ever to attract and obtain great talent. Staff now see through gimmicky benefits and expect more from their employer for a better lifestyle overall.”
She adds that the latest Fjord Trends report shows that people have started questioning who they are and what matters to them and want real initiatives that support a better home life, such as flexible hours or childcare assistance.
This, she says, will be a challenge for businesses. She said: “This challenge brings great opportunities for businesses to create positive relationships which will develop a way of working which is better for people, society and the planet.”
This is the 15th Fjord Trends annual report, which it says, looks different to other years, with regards to employee behaviours and the trends that will affect businesses in 2022.
Besides, post pandemic priorities changing how people work and want to work, the report also found that people are more conscious of the importance of self-care. They are also more compassionate in the face of a colleague’s personal struggles. The report found that mental health issues, grief or a sudden disruption through illness have become normalised, as well as employees taking on more responsibilities to look after their loved ones.
Flexibility is a non-negotiable priority for employees, as well as the need not to go into the office. Workforces have come to rely on strong internet connections, virtual tools, and video conferencing, rather than needing to be situated within proximity to a physical office.
One of the most important trends is designing internal processes and rules to reduce employees’ mental load. The report says this is a subtle, yet important, way to show care for employees’ wellbeing. It advises that businesses should deliberately design and build care into systems.
It says that employees need the tools to do the work expected of them, and anything that makes these tasks cumbersome should be removed or ‘decluttered’.
The report stresses that it is also important to provide a differentiated experience for employees, whose needs will be different. Companies must adjust the balance of the employee experience to be about more than just task productivity.
The full report can be accessed here