Listen to the details of what your employees want to hear

Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

When the epidemic hit, the companies felt like they were drowning in unknown waters. For the most part, remote work seemed like a new strategy, but many companies have been investing in the necessary structures and precedents over the years. At a time when dozens of companies were focusing on decentralized models, dozens of companies have created themselves without any physical location, showing us that remote activity is possible. Moreover, many great company cultures were able to remain intact.

In the face of the lockdown, sports fans also had to adapt. New behaviors were included. The huge crowd of spectators, the crowd of Telgators and the Super Bowl party – these fans could not get together and had to adapt. They turned out in other ways that weren’t so popular before and laid the groundwork for new places, basically digital. These may not represent a normal experience, but fans have figured out how to enjoy the sport and come up with new ideas.

This same behavioral change has played out in action culture. Companies that support remote businesses only improve because they listen to people’s needs. Similarly, instead of trying to mimic your old office environment in this new normal state, listen to your employees to improve on a decentralized work environment.

Demand and demand

Before the epidemic, people were confusing these two core business concepts – often incidentally in the same bucket in a regional language that blends the two. One could say, “I am Need There must be an office, “but that, we discovered, is for the most part one Would like. Without an office, businesses adapted, and we at Butchership Global, along with many others, discovered that no one Need Absolutely stay in the office. And needs must be met first, demands also important, and both require a constant balance; When the demands become widespread enough in a changed environment, they may eventually become a necessity.

So, re-evaluate concepts like “decentralization”, “remote” and “hybrid” in a separate bucket based on current environment needs and requirements and change your relationship with the concept of location – consider focusing on creating “opportunities”. Instead. We don’t need an office, but decentralization was about never seeing each other, and asking people when they should actually see each other, then designing occasions to do so. Right now, we’re developing low-cost and impactful pod spaces: we have 1,000-square-foot hubs in accessible cities to support occasion-based needs with places for collaborative planning.

Related: Using the strength of the inflection point

Listen and adapt

Before the 2020 event, it was easy to get stuck in behavior … stuck in the old ways, but the epidemic has shown us that when faced with forces beyond our control, we can adapt to survival. Wearing masks, social distance, controlling our movements and how our children go to school – when forced to change, we now know (and without a doubt) that we can. And once we let the adaptation happen, we realized how new ways could be better. So, instead of trying to mimic position-based workflows, create opportunities that employees want and need by listening to them and implementing new strategies.

Part of this listening process is evaluating friction points – where people are having problems. Go from one to the next, eliminate them or replace them with a solution. For example, without an office, we noticed that it was difficult for employees to approve expenses; They were carrying the immediate financial burden of paying Uber for new equipment, a home office set-up or meeting with a team, and were waiting for a refund a month later. We all agreed that it was painful, so our solution was to give everyone a company credit card with their own limits and permissions (for some of our junior designers, this was their first). Realizing that they can make decisions and ask for help brings everyone closer quickly and easily, even though we’re still a long way off, and the credit card policy was simple: “Do no harm to the company.”

Related: Employee experience is more important than ever. Here’s how to improve it.

Culture and transparency

Company culture is both a sought and a need, and a great one absolutely necessary in order to thrive. Maintaining this is one of the major challenges of decentralization. Companies need to create new situations to replace the thousands of micro-interactions that occur in an office. During the epidemic, I wrote about 427 emails – one at five every night – to signify the end of the day. A while ago, I picked up two guys from our team who were in town playing a Golden State Warriors basketball game.

It is important to evaluate how the bucket of interactions needed for culture can be filled, except for moments in the water cooler or salad during lunch. But instead of replacing them with virtual replicas, focus on the big-swing moments that keep workers’ reservoirs longer. The money saved can be used to design new projects that promote occasion-based culture, without the need to pay for expensive offices. We’ve come up with the idea of ​​a branded summit and asked everyone what they would like: a day out at an office or a big day trip to Puerto Vallarta or Costa Rica. People chose the summit above the office, and met their interaction for months because they discussed waiting for the trip as well as talking after it. Of our 150 employees who have not previously chatted together, Slack interaction has increased by 3,000%.

Clarity is a key element in any change from “what we were” to “what we want to be”. With clarity, people do what they need to do, so explain how and why any action is needed to move the company forward and back it up with information. And when you go from enterprise to enterprise, show that you want progress more than perfection every time. Create plans for change, why you believe it should be done, what it should look like, and how you plan to support the team as they go through it, then evaluate the data-based results using your people’s data. Has change made employees happy? Did it feel good or bad about their company or its leadership? Review metrics such as efficiency and productivity by supporting employee needs and they will respond by seeking to make the company better.

Related: Decentralization: The story of a successful company is about to change

Decentralization changes a lot, but if done correctly, these changes can be for the better, attracting more diverse talents, happier employees and businesses.

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