As we progress into a New Year with some tentative signs of light at the end of the COVID tunnel, many businesses and individuals are taking stock. The upheaval of the last 2 years has created huge and irreversible change for people across home and work. However, not all of this transformation has been negative. 

From our perspective, one of the major positive changes coming out of the pandemic has been a new emphasis being placed on genuine care in the workplace

The most immediate need for this shift was to limit the impact of mental and emotional strain on employees due to COVID. However, as people re-evaluate their levels of satisfaction in work and life, we are now seeing many employees demanding more than just monetary rewards from their employers; they are seeking to be treated as humans first, that is, to have their human needs supported and their core values reflected in the values of their employer.

When employees feel cared for in the workplace, they are happier, more engaged and more productive. For organisations that can get this right, the rewards are high, both in terms of their ability to attract high quality staff and to retain their existing workforce in an increasingly competitive market.

 

3 key behaviours that demonstrate care in the workplace

So what are the basic elements of care in the workplace? How can organisations properly enact them? And how can employees recognise when adequate care is being provided (or not provided) in their workplace?

Below are our top 3 indicators of a workplace that truly cares for its employees:

 

1. Respect for the individual

Feeling permitted to be your true self in the workplace is a key component to having a truly fulfilling job. However, many people feel pressure to hide their true self in the workplace, believing it is somehow mismatched with the culture of their organisation or profession. This can lead to high levels of dissatisfaction and stress over time.

However, an increasing number of organisations now understand the value that diversity has been shown to bring to the workforce. With this understanding has come a drive to increase diversity amongst employees, not just in terms of demographics but also in personality types and ways of thinking. 

Statistics show this approach to be highly effective. According to a study conducted by Deloitte, “When employees think their organisation is committed to, and supportive of diversity and they feel included, employees report better business performance in terms of ability to innovate, (83% uplift) responsiveness to changing customer needs (31% uplift) and team collaboration (42% uplift).” [1]

In this article here we discuss the importance of supporting people to be themselves in the workplace and the steps you can take to ensure your organisation in an inclusive one.

 

2. Living their ‘care’ values

Values and culture form the backbone of any good organisation. These act as a North Star, keeping employees on track and aligned in how they behave across all aspects of their day to day work. 

To assess whether a company has ‘care’ as a priority, candidates should research their perspective employee’s values and consider if emphasis is put on more supportive, human behaviours like support, openness and collaboration. It is also important to question whether an organisation is truly living these values or just pays lip service to them. Make a point of asking about values in your interview and take note of the quality and depth of the response.

We have developed this pdf guide, which talks about the importance of company values and culture, with tips to finding a great match.

 

3. Paying attention to their people

Great organisations and their leaders don’t just direct the business from a detached operational perspective; they get to know their people as individuals and regularly check-in to ensure they are happy, engaged and working at their best.

When employers pay attention to their team and regularly check in with them, it sends the message that they are valued within the business and that their efforts are seen and acknowledged. It can also help to alleviate potential issues and challenges as they arise. For instance, having an open, honest conversation with an employee when things are not on track can help to get to the bottom of any underlying issues, such as personal problems, that may not have been voiced otherwise. 

Having an open-door policy also encourages people to speak out with concerns they might be having around their work and team. This enables a business to address major issues from the outset rather than letting them go unnoticed, with the result of potentially losing valued members of the team.  

At a recent Moir Group event, Penny Lovett, Chief Human Resources Officer for The Salvation Army talked about a major transformation her organisation undertook and how they helped staff to maintain morale through it. Penny stated that, when undergoing transformation, ‘it is essential to allow employees a place to freely express their comments and concerns’. A true dialogue encourages staff to be part of the transformation journey, rather than feeling shoehorned into the process, which can foster resentment and disengagement.

A final word

Whatever the approach taken, a renewed emphasis on care in the workplace is not a short-term fix but a long-term shift for future-facing organisations. It’s important that these behaviours are undertaken consistently and across the whole business. They should be integrated into the fabric of an organisation, with clear communication and directives about how to implement and maintain best practice approaches to truly care for the individual.

 

Here at Moir Group, we are committed to living our value of care. Our consultants are focussed on building long-term relationships with people, helping them to grow and transition through different stages of their careers. Rather than shoe-horning people into roles that don’t quite fit, we seek to find the best cultural fit between candidates and organisations and run education and networking sessions across the year to help people grow their skills and strengthen industry connections. 

Are you looking to move into your next finance role? Contact our team today for a chat or see our latest job listings.

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