The employee’s experience in a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced both individuals and organizations to transform.
In the case of people, the main objective was to organize time working remotely;
As for companies, it was the digital transformation that allowed greater agility to overcome the various difficulties that came up. However, once companies managed to stabilize their processes remotely, they began to notice that they should be interested (even more) in the most important asset: people.

The employee experience is a process that allows us to identify the expectations, needs, and desires of future collaborators and to satisfy them with tangible and intangible factors, taking into account three areas: work environment, the physical workplace, and tools (resources). The COVID-19 pandemic also impacted this process (fundamental) since it has multiplied people’s differences; living alone and working remotely is not the same as having a family with school-age children where you have to coordinate schedules, share computers and/or workspaces, etc.; constant change is part of our reality today.

Experts believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant event and global challenge of our lives; therefore, changing our attitudes and behaviors, forcing companies to react; even though the changes won’t seem to end once the virus is gone. There are two focuses that organizations must ensure in the employee experience today: training leaders and maintaining employee motivation.

What to train a leader in the context of a pandemic? 

  • Expectation alignment 

It is difficult for someone to have, in a crisis, all the answers. That is why it is expected that leaders can address the unknown and speak with confidence, accompanying the teams that expect actions in this environment.

  • Communicate truthfully 

There is a lot of misinformation circulating in times of crisis, so problems should be explained honestly and directly. Communicate, always communicate.

  • Have empathy 

In line with the previous point, you have to listen to understand. People should feel that their leader cares about them, that he pays attention to what they need.

There are many questions to be answered: What are organizations doing with leaders for the work of the future? Are you capitalizing on today’s experience? What are we learning? How are we learning? 

Due to the pandemic, many organizations in Argentina (and the world) have had to move much of their operation to remote work. This has changed the way we connect and communicate, giving employees greater autonomy and requiring leaders to think quickly as new obstacles arise. Likewise, the economic crisis, uncertainty, and fear of getting sick can induce constant stress, affecting employees and their motivation.

Read this note about Employee Experience

Stay motivated 

In this context, HR must sharpen its gaze to give an immediate response to the interactions of the collaborators. 

Specialists point out that it is essential, in this context, to focus on three points: 

  • Motivate unmotivated employees, 
  • Improve the motivation of those who have a resilient attitude and, 
  • Highlight those most productive collaborators. 

As we already mentioned, honest and transparent information, taking care of communication, and considering the collaborators allow creating a positive work environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the least-skilled workers in particular. According to the WEF (World Economic Forum) 50% of the current workforce will need to be retrained by 2025, while 40% of the skills currently considered central to work will change within the next five years. Concepts such as upskilling (training to optimize performance) and reskilling (retraining of skills for a new job). Investing in these processes brings several benefits:

  • Bridging the digital gap 
  • Reduce selection and induction processes to the company 
  • Increase employee loyalty 
  • Continuous training 
  • Promote a dynamic culture 

The world has changed. It is essential that HR departments also change and adapt quickly to the new context.