Have you noticed?

March 2023

Please take the time to read this information in preparation for Friday!

Have you noticed?

Life and work have changed over the last 3 years. Perhaps more drastically, specifically and consequentially than any other period in modern history.

The ‘traditional workplace’ is no more – or if it’s been able to survive, it has changed significantly.

In a span of just a few days, offices were emptied, confusion was rampant, no one knew ‘what to do’. Whether you were a regular employee, a team leader, a manager, or a corporate leadership team your world was turned upside down, or at least listing to one side or the other. Our focus, effort and energy were redirected virtually overnight to how are we going to make this work. Many didn’t.

Into the Word

Does the scripture have anything to say about these kinds of challenges? Was God taken by surprise by Covid? What resources do we really have?

No one was ready.

As we tried to adjust and began to see light at the end of the Covid tunnel we discovered that something strange was happening. Our employees weren’t coming back to the office. We’d adjusted and let them work from home in an effort keep things going for our companies and for them, and the ‘gift’ of the internet ‘saved our bacon’. But now we are facing a new problem.

They like working at home – at least 79% of the work force are working either exclusively remote (26%) or are on a hybrid schedule (53%), leaving only 21% on sight.

The implications are significant on a number of levels from employers needing to downsize facilities to determining how to personally engage their employees and to keep them on task.

Into the Workplace

Is there any relevant research that will help guide where we go from here? We’ll look at options for strategies to move forward and create a framework for success.

Then due to a number of factors impacting their intellectual , emotional, spiritual and physical health, such as fear of the future, losing their homes, losing their loved ones to Covid, working in an environment full of disruptions and more, our employee’s engagement began to take a dive. Gallop reports that “By early 2022, U.S. employee engagement slumped to a seven-year low with only 32% of employees engaged and 17% actively disengaged at work. The slump continued throughout 2022 as engagement levels remained relatively unchanged.”

The Gallop researchers go on to say . . .

“When their preferred work location does not match their actual location, employees are substantially less engaged, more likely to burn out and more likely to leave their employer.

Hybrid teams must also learn to coordinate their schedules in a way that optimizes team collaboration and ensures customer needs are met. 

One of Gallup’s most striking findings from 2022 was that hybrid workers feel closer to their organization’s culture than do fully on-site workers. This challenges the idea that “the office” is synonymous with “culture.”

They may also feel that, when they are given greater flexibility, their organization cares about and trusts them more, which strengthens the bond with their employer.

Today’s new hybrid workplace will challenge many leaders to reinvent the meaning, purpose and experience of their workplace culture. They will have to redefine the “why” and “how” behind their work strategies, practices, and norms. Above all, we recommend encouraging employees to be more involved (and feel more included) in what that new culture will be. After all, a workplace culture is ultimately defined by “how we work together.”

All of this means things have changed and we – the leaders must adapt.

Over the next two months we are going to address some of the key issues and possible solutions to the situation.

We’ll be looking into the Word and into the research and create some strategies for success.