3 Steps to co-design your Better Workplace for 2021

Recently, the ABS released the current employee engagement figures.

51% of all employees are looking to leave due to:

  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of support from their employers
  • Lack of connection.

As a small business owner this number will prove costly, particularly after a very challenging and expensive year.

So how can we reduce that number and cost in our own business?

We can co-design for a better workplace, which for most can be a hybrid between the office and working from home.

  1. Evaluate the role types within your business and ask where and when?

    For example: If you are a business with frontline workers, they need to be front and centre to deal face to face with customers. Everyone knows how grumpy people can get, and leave, if they are made to queue for too long so always ensure that provision is adequately covered.

    However, if your business is largely office based then where and when do you actually need your employees in the office and for what? Does it need to be all day, or part of the day, what degree of flexibility is achievable?

  2. Ask your employees what they require from you?

    What level of support is needed to encourage them to feel safe and secure to return to the office?

    Share your ideal scenario, and let them share theirs, and then work on a compromise to address any mismatch based on employee ‘wants’ versus business ‘needs’. Explain that your requirements are based on the needs of the role, not them as a person.

  3. Thank them for their efforts and commitment over the last few months.

    Many business owners think employees are only interested in financial rewards, however, when you speak to employees 9 out of 10 say they would like to be acknowledged for a job well done.

    So thank them, sincerely, and not as a part of the end of year group Christmas party, individually, and mention something you noticed where they proved themselves, for example, in the evidence of a report well written or the lengths they went to for a client.

Once you have your plans set up for the next year for the return to work process, communicate in writing to everyone so it is transparent.  For those continuing to work from home, make sure they complete a ‘Working from Home Safety Checklist’ and it is signed and agreed by you and your employee, so you can evidence you have done all you can to protect them in their new environment.

If you haven’t completed these yet for your staff it is important to get your records updated now before an employee formally commences a working from home arrangement, and make sure it is dated.


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