There was once a world where employers were expected to include benefits that offered 100% healthcare costs, a defined benefit pension plan, and a promise on a career for life. To get an idea for workplace culture, watch Mad Men – men in suit and ties and women allowed for secretarial and other non-executive roles.
Needless to say, that there has been many changes to workplace culture over several decades, but with the pandemic, evolutionary workplace change happened in just months. The way we work has changed forever, and future generations of workers will be astounded at the idea of having to fight rush our traffic to sit in an office with a fixed schedule more than half of their calendar week.
Impact on culture
COVID’s impact on the workplace and workers has made the pandemic unpredictable. While some organizations and teams have been able to adapt and move along seamlessly to remote work, others have been affected negatively – losing their livelihood or battling loneliness and insecurities while working remotely.
Even larger companies are not responding in a predictable way. Leaders of Netflix and JP Morgan Chase stated publicly that they want workers back in the office, while other leaders at Facebook and Citi have stated the opposite.
How to Realign Strategies
How should leaders realign talent strategy with business strategy? Clearly, from a solution perspective, one size does not fit all. Instead, a highly customizable process is required.
Talent optimization empowers leadership teams to gain agreement on business strategy and determine if they have the right teams in place to execute that strategy. The four steps are outlined below:
Conduct a strategic review.
- Review mission, vision, purpose, and values.
- Identify and address disruptions and opportunities brought about by COVID-19.
- Revise strategic goals, milestones, and timeframe expectations.
- Confirm leadership agreement
Evaluate leadership alignment.
- Determine the ideal culture and leadership style.
- Consider organizational and leadership adjustments.
- Consider the natural strengths and agility of new leaders.
Explore action to support execution.
- Identify potential gaps
- Address and close leadership gaps.
- Measure each leadership team member’s confidence in strategy execution.
- Adopt a culture to support the strategy.
Focus on people.
- Communicate with employees frequently and transparently.
- Proactively reinforce inclusiveness with remote and hybrid teams.
- Discuss changes, if any, to corporate strategic guidance.
- Be confident and positive in the future of the organization.
People come first
Almost all organizations faced a major change stemming from the pandemic and will continue to evolve to meet new changes. This four-step process is appropriate for organizations in transition, undergoing leadership changes, or experiencing business challenges, and will be helpful for those creating sustainable success. Realigning strategies to meet this new world is important – human capital is the most critical part of the organization, and also the most vulnerable.