2020 was the start of a major change in the HR-field. What does this mean for the future of HR in Europe and for you as an employer? Working from home, online meetings, lockdowns and an vigorous balance between work and private life are the new norm. Whereas last year innovation was highly ranked on the HR agenda, there has been a shift in the priorities of the employees which now value health, well-being and vitality.
How can you as an employer be prepared for the new trends? In this blog, we've identified and outlined the overarching trend : working from home. Working from home can result in multiple benefits for employers and employees - if done right. A clear working from home policy, adapting to a new leadership style and investing in your employees are key in being a future-proof employer. If not done right, working from home can also result in trouble; losing engagement with your employees and eventually employees leaving your organization.
Clear Working from Home Policy
Considering that there has been an abrupt change in the working environment, due to COVID-19, employees and employers had to adapt to the sudden outbreak and start to work from home. Face-to-face meetings were no longer possible and most meetings took place digitally. After almost two years, everyone is moving towards a “new normal”, where working from home is not going to disappear. As a result, it is crucial to have a clear home working policy.
In order to carry out tasks properly, it is important that working from home is well organized. Every working from home policy is unique and customized and depends on your organization. Nevertheless, there are a few points that must be taken into consideration:
- When are you eligible to work from home;
- Number of days working at home;
- Flexible working hours;
- communication among yourself;
- Compensation or not.
Employees must not only be able to work from home in a well organized way, but also a healthy way with a reasonable workload and with a sufficient level of involvement by the company. Furthermore, compensation is a key topic in in a working from home policy as employees need to have an ergonomic, healthy and productive working environment at home.
The New Way of Leadership
Taking into account that there has been a shift in the external environment which impacted the way we work today, leadership has changed as there is more "distance". It is now more important than ever for a leader/manager to check in and have conscious contact moments with your employees. The relationship with and acknowledgement of a direct manager is a source of energy for many employees. Furthermore, it is crucial to keep employees engaged to you and the organization, and to maintain the organizational culture from a distances. As leadership from a distance can be complex, hereby some useful guidelines that help you on your way.
- Start the week with team kick-offs to ensure alignment;
- Give employees confidence and space;
- Do regular check-in's, but do not micromanage;
- Organize a virtual lunch;
- Make clear agreements;
- Schedule recurring 1-on-1 appointments to keep it personal;
- Work openly and transparently, this ensures reachability;
- Share successes and pitfalls.
Investing in Employees
To engage employees to your organization and make them agile, employee development deserves full attention from HR. It is vital to stimulate employees to develop themselves, and to make them aware of it. By offering trainings, the employees will feel guided and supported by the company, which will result in a higher level of employee satisfaction and engagement. Furthermore, providing your employees with a clear career path helps with retaining your talent as they see and feel growth opportunities. For more information on retention, we invite you to read one of our previous blogs: Effective employee boarding: the secret to staff retention.
Why you should invest in your employees:
- Employee turnover is costly, so invest in your employees to retain them. The cost of replacing employees can be double the price of their salaries;
- By investing in your employees you become an attractive and reputable employer which results in attracting more talent;
- Ongoing training retains motivated employees;
- Satisfied and well-trained employees have a higher productivity;
- Investing in employees increases innovation and performance.
Be an Attractive Employer
Welcome to the war of talent. Currently, there is a growth in open positions in most European countries. This has resulted in a situation in which there are more job openings than people looking for a job. As it is harder than ever to fulfil jobs, it crucial for an organization to recruit and retain the right talent. If employees see the organization as an attractive employer, it will impact them in a positive way. In general, if the employees feel connected, there is an higher chance of them staying with the organization. They will also be proud of where they work and thus it will be attractive to the new employees. How to be an attractive employer in Europe?
- Be flexible - make working from home possible if employees desire this
- Invest and develop - as already mentioned investing in your employees gives multiple benefits
- Positive work environment - have common goals, which can be celebrated if reached
Get in touch
If you would like to learn more about European HR trends and practices, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to assist you with your European HR needs.
EuroDev, established in 1996, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Digital Marketing.