If we have learnt anything from the pandemic, it is that radical change can happen overnight. Those things we thought could never happen just did and the level of resilience and open-mindedness both as organisations and as individuals has been accelerated by years; which we must capture and put to good use.
We know that a feeling of belonging and sense of reward can be achieved or indeed eroded in so many ways. At its most basic, reward has been about pay structures and progression and for many years we have seen packages slowly evolve to include a whole host of innovative, tangible extras; but what about the intangible. Time and energy is scarce and can either be on our side or take us to the edge of burnout. That is where we should focus our attention.
Workplaces have been fundamental to creating a sense of connection and we must now think about how we maintain that connection to our brand, our purpose, our values and to each other, as we move into a blended future workspace. This is not just about ensuring individuals have the right technology wherever they might be; which to be honest must be a fundamental hygiene factor of any reward strategy going forward; it is about how we connect and how we nurture a culture of trust and empowerment.
We need to turn up our listening skills so we hear what is being said, forget presenteeism and manage energy, focus on output rather than hours put in, celebrate achievements and success and we must allow individuals to continue to work in whatever environment they feel they can be at their best. We need to be smart and work smarter and accept that everyone is unique. So let us not be complex in our thinking and just listen to what is valued the most and keep as flexible as we have had to be over the last nine months, as we plan for the future ahead.
Staying curious and continuing to learn will enable us to grasp every opportunity to evolve. The success of our collective future is hinged on how we take forward this experience, to make better places for people to live, learn and feel fulfilled and rewarded at every level. If we have learnt anything, it is that our time is precious and it’s the moments that matter in life, so we should make the most of them.
Karen Mosley is managing director at HLM Architects