The corporate world, post-pandemic, is witnessing not only a paradigm shift in work but workplace too. With the concept of workplace having been redefined now, thanks to WFH/WFA, and with adoption of new societal facets in their business operations and policies, the character of a corporate entity is undergoing a healthy metamorphosis.
There are five key reasons why businesses need to revamp their social side today. Read on..
WFH/WFA has afforded not only flexibility of work to employees but has also helped them restore work-life balance. Accustomed to the new work styles, they expect such flexibility to continue. Some others, opting to go to office, are expecting some ‘me-time’ hours during office hours. Better flexibility at work, allocation of higher space per employee, conducive and hygienic working conditions, provision of health care and wellness, empathetic human resource practices are the demands and expectations of employees. Indeed, all this is changing employee-employer relationships. A cordial, considerate, sensitive, and humane responses from the captains of businesses are the need of the hour.
With lower-order skilled or talented workforce, the companies can always negotiate well in terms of employment, compensation, and work practices. But it is not going to be easy with top talents and expertise who now demand greater flexibility at work and seek purpose and value in work. Thanks to the pandemic, with greater resilience, adaptability, and higher appetite to explore new opportunities, these employees do not mind asserting their expectations and even hopping jobs. Talent retention and grabbing, especially in tech sector, is an emerging challenge for the companies.
The pandemic has broadened business perspectives and the rules of business have become friendlier for the small stakeholders like debtors, creditors, suppliers, otherwise playing a vital role in the supply chains of businesses and industries. Be it soft credit terms, faster receivables payments, bridge finance, the corporates are trying to match up to the needs of small firms who have seen their operations crippled during the pandemic. Realizing the importance of having long-lasting relationships with these vital entities for longevity of their business, corporate houses are displaying much-needed handholding, reciprocity, and sense of fraternity.
Looking at social responsibility as a positive force in society, companies are increasingly ramping up their focus on the same. The issues of gender parity, environment protection, sustainability, poverty alleviation etc. are frequently figuring in Board level deliberations. Social responsibility is also being demonstrated by way of CSR activities in greater measure, particularly in green and sustainability projects. Such social engagements and outreach by the companies project more attractive images to both consumers, shareholders, and investors, which in turn serves to spruce up their branding and positively impact bottom lines as well.
Public policy and governance are now focused on creating better labor eco-system. Issues of employment, wages, education, skills, social safety nets etc. are finding more attention from governments across nations, giving strong signals to employers about the focused area of government policy concerns and actions. This has nudged corporates and business houses to be quite pro-active with humane HR policies on wellness, diversity, inclusion, and ethics at workplace. Clearly, for companies, alignment of their policies broadly on the government lines make sense, as such pro-employee actions also help them to get on the right side of government’s reforms agenda.
Ram Krishna Sinha is a Board Member, and a former General Manager, Learning & Development at a leading bank in India. An author of the motivational book “X Factor@ Workplace”, he writes on contemporary issues of education, HR, leadership, corporate strategy, and public affairs.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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