How has the last year affected your employees?
Loaded question, I know. In this specific context, I’m asking you to reflect on how the last year has impacted work dynamics and employee behaviors. People have been living with higher levels of stress, working longer hours, and dealing with more grief and anxiety than ever before. Whether your company laid people off or grew headcount (or both) during the pandemic, the level of uncertainty, change, and overall ambiguity has taken its toll on the way your employees function at work. In some cases, employees have been stressed about being the next one to lose their job. As a response, they’re working longer hours and stretching themselves too thin. In others, they’re working with a bunch of new people they haven’t spent time with and don’t really know yet. This leads to communication silos and collaboration challenges. What we see in result is a lower state of trust within many organizations, which causes things like turnover, conflict, and burnout.
The first step to rectifying this breakdown in trust is to acknowledge it. The very close second step is to implement a plan of action to address it. Validating employee sentiment in a case like this is an important part of building trust back because it shows vulnerability from leadership and shows that leaders aren’t afraid to be open and honest about difficult things. It makes the problem feel like a company problem rather than an individual problem, which makes each employee feel less alone and more likely to actively participate in your plan to address it.
What kinds of strategies are most impactful? Our clients are leveraging group coaching with specific objectives for each group. Group coaching blends the best parts of training with the best parts of coaching. It’s a strategy that produces greater learning outcomes that lead to meaningful behavior change. These changed behaviors are what your employees need to do to work better together again (or for the first time) as a team and ultimately contribute to better business results.
If you’re curious about how group coaching works, here’s a link to an anonymized proposal we put together for one of our clients.
It’s tough to change employee behavior alone, which is where GoCoach can help. We know it takes a village to upskill talent and our platform provides tools and resources for everyone. If you are implementing your remote vs return policy, we’re here to support the skills and behaviors you and your employees will need to ensure the plan is successful.
Check out our platform by clicking this link, if you want to connect and learn more!
Written by Rebecca Taylor, our Co-Founder and COO.