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Lessons on Employee Engagement in a Post-Pandemic World

Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

The pan­dem­ic cre­at­ed an envi­ron­ment in which so many changes hap­pened in such a short amount of time that only now are com­pa­nies begin­ning to digest and imple­ment what they’ve learned.

Some­one lead­ing her organization’s adap­ta­tion to the new world of work is Eve­line Jaynes, Direc­tor of Tal­ent Acqui­si­tion and Man­age­ment at Laser­fiche. She recent­ly joined The Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture Pod­cast to dis­cuss how Laser­fiche is adapt­ing to the post-pan­dem­ic world.

Laser­fiche is a SaaS provider of intel­li­gent con­tent man­age­ment and busi­ness process automa­tion. It uses pow­er­ful work­flows, elec­tron­ic forms, doc­u­ment man­age­ment and ana­lyt­ics to elim­i­nate man­u­al process­es and auto­mate repet­i­tive tasks. Laser­fiche team mem­bers are com­mit­ted to empow­er­ing cus­tomers and inspir­ing peo­ple to reimag­ine how tech­nol­o­gy can trans­form lives.

Managing Multinational Teams

Laser­fiche has been in busi­ness for over three decades now and has a pres­ence in Cana­da, Ire­land, Eng­land and Chi­na, in addi­tion to the US head­quar­ters. Eve­line not­ed that a key to suc­cess­ful­ly uti­liz­ing that glob­al reach is com­mu­ni­ca­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly on col­lab­o­ra­tive projects. As one office clos­es down for the day, it needs to brief and hand off any urgent projects to the next office that is open­ing up for the day, so that stake­hold­ers in any giv­en project can count on the work get­ting done on time.

From Great Resignation to the Great Execution

Eve­line point­ed out that the pan­dem­ic was mere­ly the first in a series of shocks. Next came the Great Res­ig­na­tion — as a result of people’s lives being inter­rupt­ed, they start­ed con­sid­er­ing alter­na­tives, and often those alter­na­tives includ­ed quit­ting their cur­rent jobs.

After the Great Res­ig­na­tion was the Great Reflec­tion, which fea­tured employ­ees reflect­ing more deeply on what they want from their careers and being mind­ful about where and how they work.

And on the hori­zon now is what Eve­line calls the Great Exe­cu­tion, in which orga­ni­za­tions can take all the new­ly acquired knowl­edge about them­selves and their team mem­bers to make nec­es­sary changes to the work envi­ron­ment and com­pa­ny culture.

An Opening To Come Back to the Office

One of the nec­es­sary changes many com­pa­nies had to make to the work envi­ron­ment was going ful­ly remote. Laser­fiche was no dif­fer­ent, but last year it broke ground on a new cor­po­rate head­quar­ters that will fea­ture col­lab­o­ra­tive spaces as well as rooms for auton­o­my and inde­pen­dence. It’ll offer a three-day work­week that Eve­line hopes will entice some team mem­bers to start com­ing back to the office (no man­dates are in place at the moment).

For her part, Eve­line has tak­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ​“work­ca­tion” in Hawaii recent­ly. She had to fig­ure out how to nav­i­gate the time dif­fer­ence but, once she did, she still man­aged to coor­di­nate with her teams and the client groups she sup­ports. She found that being in an envi­ron­ment that res­onat­ed with her allowed her to be even more productive.

Why Employees Leave

The oppor­tu­ni­ty that Eve­line had to work in Hawaii was, in a way, part of her pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment. A lack of oppor­tu­ni­ty for pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment is one of the top three rea­sons that employ­ees are leav­ing their com­pa­nies at the moment. Oth­er rea­sons are:

  • A lack of con­nec­tion to the company’s mis­sion and/​or lack of belief in the prod­uct or divi­sion they are part of.
  • An insuf­fi­cient num­ber of strong work relationships.

Strong work rela­tion­ships can be par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult to devel­op in ful­ly remote envi­ron­ments. That’s why man­age­ment has to find cre­ative ways for team mem­bers to engage with each oth­er in social ways — and why the plan to re-engage some employ­ees with an in-office work envi­ron­ment can make a big impact on employ­ee reten­tion.

As for pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment, Eve­line and her team have imple­ment­ed a num­ber of pro­grams, including:

  • Knowl­edge Shar­ing — when team mem­bers attend a con­fer­ence, get new cer­ti­fi­ca­tions or under­take con­tin­u­ing ed, they are encour­aged to share infor­ma­tion with the team to help bring new trends and inno­va­tion to the work­place, as well as stir healthy debate about those trends and how they might fit in with what the team is already doing.
  • Vol­un­teer Time Off — as employ­ees reflect­ed on their lives dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, many expressed a desire to give back in some way. Laser­fiche hon­ors this by offer­ing paid time off for team mem­bers to give back to caus­es they care about.

In a larg­er sense, pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment is about rec­og­niz­ing that work and a career are more than just the time put in at the office or on the job, but about devel­op­ing the per­son you are.

The Digital Transformation Journey

Eve­line believes that busi­ness­es and lead­ers that want to thrive in the mod­ern econ­o­my will need to embark on a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion jour­ney. That means deliv­er­ing nec­es­sary peo­ple, nec­es­sary prac­tices and cul­tur­al changes in a post-pan­dem­ic world.

This requires a new entre­pre­neuri­al­ly-mind­ed gen­er­a­tion that can har­ness tech­nol­o­gy and dri­ve inno­va­tion to empow­er that change. Eve­line wants to help devel­op this gen­er­a­tion by focus­ing on empa­thy, coach­ing, flex­i­bil­i­ty and well-being in her new hires. She believes that ​“AQ and EQ eat IQ for break­fast,” and it makes sense, giv­en that adapt­abil­i­ty (AQ) and empa­thy (EQ) have spe­cial res­o­nance in a remote world in which peo­ple need to feel includ­ed and heard.

Check Out the Full Episode

Learn more about tac­tics to increase employ­ee engage­ment and reten­tion from Eve­line by lis­ten­ing to our full inter­view on Apple or Spo­ti­fy.

Look­ing to build your own Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture? Fringe can help. Fringe is the num­ber one lifestyle ben­e­fits mar­ket­place. Give your peo­ple the pow­er of choice and save a ton of admin­is­tra­tive headaches by con­sol­i­dat­ing exist­ing ven­dors and pro­grams into a sim­ple, auto­mat­ed plat­form. Talk to our team to get started.

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