Human Resources has often had to straddle the recognition of employee personal brands vs their organizational engagement. In this day-and-age, many individuals have larger follower bases than those of the organization they represent. Still to this day, individuals have lost employment opportunities due to their social media behaviors. While we see many companies using employee advocacy to boost their brand and celebrate individuality. Take into account employees participating in large gatherings for social justice while navigating a pandemic and enforcing policy outside of work becomes ever-complicated.
The elusive permanence of work from home policy paired with the wave of social justice will no doubt have a lasting impact on workforce culture. As employee engagement gave way to employee experience, it's now time to give awareness to Employee Empowerment!
Without proximity to look over employee's shoulders, managers who rule by control have lost a major component of their entitlement. Simply put, trust is the only path forward. Managers who cannot lead through positive direction will soon render themselves irrelevant. Employees have had a taste of working at their own pace and will seek to continue self-motivation (and we'll have data to prove efficiency). As the world evolves to empower individual brands, expect to see HR playing a key role in helping managers develop as true people leaders.
With transparency in the ether, the transformation of employee empowerment will put an end to workplace bullying.
Attention to Mental Health
It's difficult to work from home for three months straight without having good days and bad. The personal isolation resulting from the virtual office has brought hyper-focus on employee mental health. It is a shame that it took a global pandemic to bring people's mental conditioning to the forefront but this revelation will ultimately serve a higher purpose. Much in the way intolerance of workplace bullying will improve manager/employee relationships, we will also see a vast improvement in recognizing employee burnout.
With the freedom to express one's mental fatigue comes a workplace collective that is based in support of all people toward social evolution.
There was a time when seeing an employee fighting for social justice on the front page might have been frowned upon. That time is gone. Politics overlapping with professional purpose can create workplace unrest but freedom of expression can no longer be regulated. Allowing employees time off to vote, the license to serve social causes and levity in personal expression is an unwritten right.
Employees who have the ability to do work that matters in service of a cause that is making a difference will stay forever. Even if your company serves a more mundane purpose, recognizing an individual's personal passion will help invigorate their professional purpose.
2020 may very well be noted as the most confusing year in human history. With uncertainty comes a lack of control but we are starting to discover that this can be an avenue to progress.
Originally published on Dave's Weekly Thought blog.