Most of us have heard the adage, "it's not what you say, it's how you say it." The notion that employees are reluctant to return to work is a perfect example of this because it implies that they haven't been working. In actuality, they are returning to the office, not their work. When employees constantly hear phrases that denigrate their performance, it can be demoralizing and create resentment. Moreover, employees have evolved, and the workplace needs to reflect this.
Effective communication is a critical part of organizational success. As employers and leaders consider language around change, the message conveyed should be clear, positive, and forward thinking.
How a “return to work” message is conveyed and interpreted will significantly affect employee retention and engagement.
People want to work; however, their priorities about the work experience have evolved, just like yours have. Today, people are seeking purpose, connection, validation, and growth in addition to a compensation and benefits package. People want to work for an organization that recognizes and values their potential and invests in their success. And they’ll keep looking until they find an employer who consistently delivers on these expectations. How can you influence the employee experience in a positive, lasting way? By listening. By making a commitment to employees that demonstrates your investment in creating a culture where people feel valued, heard, and empowered to lead in their role. Only then will your organization start to fully unlock the potential of your people.
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