Everything has changed, nothing has changed. Without doubt our world is different, the world of work is different, and it has yet to settle. A few months ago the conversation was all about remote working, closing down offices and the impact on the various sectors such as retail and hospitality in the centres of our large cities. More recently discussion, particularly amongst some of our largest companies has been about a return to offices and the benefits that accrue from bringing people together in a vibrant and creative workplace.

The answer of course will lay somewhere in between, workforces are not going to be fully remote or return fully to a pre-pandemic world. Our world pre-pandemic wasn’t totally office based, there were already trends that encouraged remote working such as ‘work from home days’. What is apparent is that Covid has accelerated an already present leaning towards a more complex way of working that is possible as a result of and dependent upon the use of collaborative tools such as SharePoint, Slack, Yammer, Teams, WebEx and Zoom, to name just a few.

One thing however that hasn’t changed in the need to engage and motivate our teams to perform.

Our view is that we remain in a period of transition, we are not out of the pandemic yet and whilst things are moving in a positive direction in this country, elsewhere such as in India, Mexico and Brazil the situation remains desperately worrying.

It is the ‘worrying’ aspect that in terms of workforce engagement of which we need to be address.  Job security for many sectors is still a concern.  How people’s jobs have already changed and will continue to change remains troubling for many. The future for millions of the workforce is largely still shrouded in the mists of uncertainty.

In complex organisations sometimes the challenge is who is responsible for what kind of message to the workforce. Where do you draw the line? Is it HR? Internal Comms? Line Managers? Business Unit Leaders or the Executive Leadership? Who is responsible for what kind of message?

The answer of course is that everyone has a role to play, what is important is that messaging is consistent, and everyone speaks with one voice.

At this point it is worthwhile calling on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and in terms of messaging to the workforce.

About the author

Peter Jackson is one of the Founders/Directors of Red Blaze Limited a fully integrated Incentive and Performance Improvement Agency.  Peter first entered the world of Performance Improvement in the late 1980’s, designing and implementing programmes in a range of sectors including Financial Services, Retail, Automotive and Capital Equipment. In recent years he has worked alongside global brands in the areas of Consumer Electronics, Business Equipment, Defence, IT and Telecommunications to help improve business performance through improved communication, structured improvement strategies and engaging recognition and reward systems.