Flexibility the ‘new normal’ post Covid-19
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Flexible the 'new normal' post Covid-19

Flexible working has been a legal right within businesses since 2003, with further expansion of rights introduced with the Flexible Working Regulations 2014. It is now a common practice to offer employees flexible working benefits in many businesses across the UK. Post Covid-19 will this be seen as a benefit or just the standard way of working?

There are financial benefits for businesses when offering flexible working as standard.

  1. Reduced overhead costs
  2. Reduction in travel expenses and travel benefits
  3. Extended opening hours
  4. Higher employee retention

Already a number of businesses across the globe are changing their business models to become fully flexible, such as AMP Insurance Broker.

Some of the key benefits to employees taking advantage of flexible working include:

  1. High engagement
  2. Reduced travel costs
  3. Reduced or no commute time
  4. Job satisfaction and the freedom to manage your time your way
  5. Better work life balance

But if employees no longer use central location to collaborate with employees and teams, how can we make sure that communication and collaboration stays as effective as working in an office?

1. Focused key messages

Making use of key messages is a great way for businesses to focus on the most important priorities. They help employees, investors and the media understand a business’ direction, the path the business is taking and a glimpse into what the future could be with the business. With flexible working becoming a standard way of working, these messages help employees feel part of the journey, connected to the company and pride for being part of the story.

2. Storytelling

This is by far one of the best communication techniques to increase engagement, keep retention high and strengthen a business’ brand and build connection within a remote workforce.

Storytelling is not a new concept, in fact is thousands of years old, but it is an effective one. It’s an important part of how we, as humans, communicate.

There are great examples of using storytelling to get a message across, whether it’s to your employees or your customers.

This is a valuable method to use to help communicate to flexible working employees, customers and investors. This enables businesses to express what they are doing, by showing how business’ services or products are being used to improve, simplify, rectify or enhance people’s life’s and circumstances. By emotively connecting with the audience through storytelling, businesses can help connect, communicate and collaborate from inside and outside. 

3. A shared purpose

Most businesses have a company purpose. This should be more than just the company vision statement; it is the confirmation of its reason for being in business. A company purpose should also be more than words, and this is where the challenge comes in. How to effectively convey the purpose in reality.

By demonstrating a business purpose in its company culture and branding message, flexible and remote working employees feel more engaged and connected to the business. This becomes a shared purpose for everyone to feel part and aligned to.

4. Make your employees your brand advocates

Engaged employees can help maximise a business’ social reach, continually building its brand image. By connecting employees to the company’s purpose, strategy and key messages, bringing them on the journey, employees feel empowered and engaged with the business.

By taking advantage of a remote workforce, businesses can encourage employees to be employee brand advocates. Businesses should all understand that its most valuable asset is its people.

A happy workforce leads to growth, retention and a strong, positive company culture. Employee advocacy helps cut through a lot of noise in the market, spreading the word in their local area, to their personal contacts and elsewhere.

5. Improving and enhancing your communication technologies

With employees working flexibly and remotely, businesses need to make sure they have the right technological infrastructure in place. They need to think about how employees can connect with each other to collaborate and connect.

Is this focusing on email, or is it using social networking platforms, or video conferencing? If all are used, do employees know what should be used for which purpose?

Governance is key to making sure the right communications technology is used for the right activity and purpose. This will help employees be effective in their remote environment.

Embracing change post Covid-19

Keeping employees engaged in a post Covid-19 world is something that is on many of our minds. But by thinking first of what should be communicated to employees, and how is the first step. It is important to make sure people feel they are an important part of the business and that they are included in a business’ journey.

However remote an employee works from their company; they should be aware of their company’s key messages, purpose and the stories that represent this. This will lead them to becoming highly engaged, and an influential brand advocate for the business, regardless of what role they hold in the business.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Harriet Henderson

    Epic, love it – you got it!

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