Employee engagement, the touchstone of a healthy workforce, needs some additional work from leadership. The current climate of rapid and disruptive change is stressing even the healthiest corporate cultures. What does our workforce need?
In order for employee engagement to survive rapid and disruptive change, people need to be resilient and agile. These two terms are being used more often in discussing corporate cultures, but what do they mean in practical terms?
Business is unpredictable, and is influenced by many varied factors that are out of the control of those in the company- but everything in business is making plans, anticipating the future, and making predictions. Where planning means reality is agility.
An agile employee is one who can adjust midstream, one who can respond to changes rapidly and effectively without getting stressed. It is the current, and new, reality that change is going to disrupt our plans and predictions, so a workforce that can respond to change by adjusting midstream is one that will be most effective and productive in the current corporate culture.
Resilience is the overarching term that means a healthy and adaptable workforce, one that is strong and able to adapt well to change. A resilient workforce is one that looks on change as challenge and opportunity, rather than a source of pain or stress. Resilience suggests both physical and mental health, as well as the elements of employee engagement that keep people focused on work rather than distracted and scattered.
Leadership can directly impact workforce resilience by, first, ensuring that the leadership team is agile and adapting well to a changing environment. Health and wellness programs, including employee assistance programs, are a key factor in helping those who are challenged or struggling.
A strong statement of values and vision, backed by the policies that support that vision, suggests to employees that leadership stands for something, and will put the resources behind those ideals.
Employee health and wellness programs, as well as work spaces that promote health, such as exercise areas, outdoor light, ergonomic office furniture, and healthy cafeterias can contribute to a corporate culture that values resilience.
Community spaces and work environments impact employee engagement. We would love to collaborate with you on improving your space. Get in touch!