It’s been close to 16 months since most of us began working from home. A duration far exceeding an average onboarding period. But still many struggle to manage the stress, anxiety, and disconnection that comes with being physically distanced from their team. Whether you’re a leader, seasoned employee, or someone who joined the team over Zoom, finding and maintaining a connection with others can be a daily challenge. A challenge that can have a direct impact on one’s confidence, sense of belonging, mental health, and ultimately, career growth. As organizations focus on bringing employees back to the office, many are now wondering if the big return will resolve or worsen an already volatile situation.
And what will the impact be on a company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Here are 3 things leaders, employees, and organizations need to know as the world returns back to the office:
- Leaders have a unique opportunity to lead differently. As a leader, you are faced with the unprecedented task of knowing how to lead a new team. A team that includes long-standing employees anxious about another disruption to their daily routine and new employees who’ve yet to physically meet colleagues and leaders. It’s an opportunity for leaders to lead differently and more inclusively than they have in the past. In order to do so, leaders must understand the complexities around leading a diverse team. Get the training and tools you need to create environments where diversity can thrive. Learn more and catch a sneak peek of our course, Inclusive Leadership with Verna Myers.
- 83% of employees prefer a hybrid work model. That’s according to a report from Accenture, which found that “83% of employees say a hybrid work model in which they can work remotely between 25% and 75% of the time is optimal.” As an organization, the ability to adapt to this need is crucial to retaining valuable employees, some of which were hired into a remote office model. Connecting employees with mentors or sponsors can contribute to a feeling of value. An organization’s ability to attract and keep great talent, remain competitive, relevant, and prosperous in the future depends on its ability to cultivate diverse people on every level of the company, especially at the top.
- Employees play an important role in overall team building. As employees make their way into the office, they’ll be faced with a rush of different personalities from different backgrounds, races, religions, sexual orientations, and political beliefs. Differences that may not have been understood or fully realized through a computer screen. It is here where biases can expose themselves. And it is here where employees must find ways to connect across difference. Our course, Exploring Unconscious Bias with Vernā Myers can help employees explore their own cultural diversity lens, learn how it shapes the way they see the world and interact with others, and understand the importance of becoming actively anti-bias. Watch a preview of this course here.
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