A number of weeks ago, we created a LinkedIn poll that asked the question, “What are your plans for returning to the office?”
The local results showed that about 30% of Twin Cities companies had returned or were returning to the office in some capacity (full-time or part-time), while 70% of companies had no plans to return to the office until 2021.
Of the 30% that had returned in some capacity, these employees were primarily from smaller companies, manufacturing businesses, or were considered essential workers. The 70% of respondents that had no plans to return to the office were mainly large companies in the Twin Cities area that had multiple office locations.
These results were not of surprise for me. It’s critical that when employees return to the office, precautions and protocols are in place to keep employees safe. This is much easier for a smaller company to undertake than that of a larger company. We would be remiss if we did not make mention of those that are not able to come back to the office even if they wanted to due to distance learning, and childcare challenges during these times. Regardless of the situation of working remotely or on-site, all companies are faced with a similar challenge.
How do we balance the need to drive business forward while also keeping morale up and employees engaged?
We believe that before we can tackle morale or employee engagement, we must understand the recent buzz around Psychological Safety. Do your employees feel accepted and respected? Are they able to show up without fear of negative consequences?
With all that is happening in the world around us surrounding a global pandemic, social injustice, and the sheer weight of what many households are juggling to keep everything afloat, its no surprise to hear that psychological safety is at the top of the priority list for companies and leaders and it should be.
So, how do companies drive business forward and keep their employees feeling safe at the same time?
That is the million-dollar question, but I truly believe it begins with listening and trying to understand the individual realities that your employees are living through, and if possible working through each situation on an individualized basis to ensure first and foremost psychological safety is met.