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How to combine Employee Commitment and Covid-19 ?

September 24, 2020

Although the issue of employee commitment is not new, the Covid-19 crisis puts more than ever the HR decision-makers at the heart of the problem. From now on, companies must apprehend digital innovations to attract and retain their talents.

At the beginning of the crisis, the context of containment highlighted the importance of employee commitment. For a large majority of companies in Europe, the duty to make all teams telework was a source of great concern. Today, what concerns and what conclusions can we draw on this sensitive subject?

Telecommuting and Covid-19: the new standard

The complexity of Employee Commitment comes from the fact that it relies on the right balance. HR directors and managers are questioning the working environment of their teams, the relevance of the missions entrusted to them, and the maintenance of a strong corporate culture despite a total upheaval in the work organization.

However, these changes in work organization and managerial culture can only succeed if they are accompanied by the development of employee commitment. This subject, which has been at the heart of HR policies for several years, is based on an alchemy that is often perceived as mysterious. Regardless of generation, employees need to project themselves into the company, but above all into their work: how does their role make sense for the company and, for the company in society, what about corporate social responsibility?

The COVID experiment was a full-scale test of the ability of companies to accelerate their digital transformation. Many of them have gone from a more face-to-face work organization mode to an almost totally remote mode in a single weekend. It is very likely that the end of confinement will not mark the return to work organization as before, but that a consensus will emerge on an alternation between these two modes.

However, this revolution or transformation will have an impact not only on tools but also on HR practices and the way teams are managed. The right balance will have to be found between corporate cohesion and autonomy, between independence and group dynamics.

How can companies effectively combine telework and to the office ?

Each work sequence is not experienced in the same way: a production sequence in telework promotes concentration, while a sequence of creativity or sharing in the presence of others stimulates collective intelligence and promotes social bonding.

The alternation of these 2 types of sequence has consequences on the organization of the company, for the occupation of space and management. Offices must be rearranged to develop and simplify the creative sequences. In addition, as not everyone has a space to concentrate at home, the company could develop work in co-working spaces, another way of opening up and sourcing outside. Managers and HR are also making their revolution: the measurement of attendance time will be transformed by the measurement of the quality of the mission delegated and carried out. The “reporting type” manager will be replaced (not totally) by the “facilitator type” manager.

These problems are identical whether in an mid-sized companies or in a big companies. However, their available means (investment, supervision, training capacity) are not comparable. The whole question is to know how to face the same issues with the same complexity when the means are not necessarily the same?