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The 4 most important things we learnt in 2021

Dec 13, 2021 | Blog

Was 2021 everything you hoped? Last December, some people were feeling optimistic – visions of bustling tubes and chatty offices filling their heads, hoping for a surge of post-pandemic energy to push us all to be our best. As it turns out, that may not have been the case… It’s been an ‘in-between’ sort of year, as COVID-19 cases ebbed and flowed – but it doesn’t mean it was a quiet one. From darker days like the Capitol Hill riots and the Atlanta shootings to positive moments like the Olympics and successful vaccine roll-out, there’s a lot to reflect on.  But when it comes to the world of work, there’s four main takeaways on our minds:

1. Hybrid is probably the future, but it will take time to adjust

As research continues to confirm an ardent appetite for remote working to continue, even leaders who strongly prefer an office-based team are softening. Remote-first may be out, but a hybrid working model seems to be a firm favourite.  That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, though. Giving your team the right tools, getting meetings right between in-and-out-of-office workers, avoiding proximity bias – these are just a few of the things you need to consider but, like anything, practice makes perfect. 

2. Inclusion should be thought about in terms of intersectionality

The release of the D&I Strategy Report made us more aware of the challenges different groups face – from young and old, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ staff, men and women, and people from different ethnic minority groups Addressing individual challenges is one thing, but it’s even more complicated when your employees might fall into several categories. So when we think about inclusion, it needs to be within the frame of intersectionality. When you’re trying to make your workplace more inclusive, consider the layers of challenges people face – and view the survey data in that way too.

3. Each industry faces different issues, but wellbeing is universal

Earlier this year, we did some research on different industries – from Finance and Telecoms, to Legal Services and Media. We wanted to understand what drives engagement in their workforce, and the various challenges they face. What’s interesting was the proportion of industries who need to start prioritising employee wellbeing. From overworked lawyers, unsupported media professionals, to the millennial awareness of wellness in the finance sector – wellbeing is crucial all-round. That might seem obvious after such a difficult few years, but many of these challenges pre-date COVID-19. 

4. We have to rethink the EVP, as the workforce is changing rapidly

For the first time, there’s four generations of people in the workforce. The demand for inclusive, ethical, green, wellness-focused organisations is growing steadily, and employees are realising that they can demand a work-life balance that’s never been seen before.  All that means rethinking your Employee Value Proposition. People aren’t doing 40-year stints at the same company anymore, willing to commute 5 times a week, and climb a rather modest career ladder. Needs and wants are changing, and the organisations that don’t adapt will lose their best talent – and struggle to replace them.

Make 2022 a better year, for you and your team

Things may seem more uncertain than ever, but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. By being agile and reactive, you can work towards a stronger 2022 – one where you leave hiring challenges behind, where performance and company culture soars, and you’re in a much better place than the start of 2020. How? It’s simple – you need to start listening. Surveying your employees doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, thanks to Qlearsite. Get started for free, and begin making working lives better:

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