The impact of COVID-19 is forcing us all to manage turbulence at the intersection of our personal and professional lives in ways we haven’t before.
Right now, around the world, many people can’t leave their homes and some haven’t been able to do so for weeks. Offices are closed, and schools are sending children home without any real certainty about when normalcy might resume. Many parents are trying to figure out how to work from home while providing care in spaces that suddenly seem a lot smaller. They’re worried about what will happen if they can’t get work done. And business leaders are concerned about their people and are staring at lost revenues and mounting productivity losses.
Your ability to nurture the employee experience at your organization during this time is critical and will be tested in a way it likely hasn’t been before.
What does focusing on employee experience mean during a time like this? Everything. The payoff is the innovation that will pull your organization through tumultuous times. Employee engagement is the outcome of a positive employee experience, and engaged employees are almost twice as likely to dip into discretionary effort, pushing beyond their normal responsibilities. That discretionary effort is the crucible of innovation. It’s where employees look at obstacles and find creative ways to get around them.
What can you do to ensure that happens? IT leaders, along with their HR counterparts and other business leaders, must:
- First address one of the most basic human motivators – safety: You, your employees, and your coworkers are worried about safety, for their family and their friends, including physical and financial health and more. The need for safety is what drives so many of our actions. Citrix business leaders have been making decisions and staying connected about travel and working from home in the name of safety and communicating with employees. I was proud of our decision to pay hourly workers through this time and felt that it demonstrates care for everyone who helps power our business. And many of the world’s leading and largest employers like Microsoft have done the same.
- Help employees preserve their personal progress: A proven, vital component of employee experience is that your people feel a sense of accomplishment every day — and technology plays a critical role. Employees need to be able to make progress and get things done amid disruption. With so many offices closing, the work-from-home experience has to be virtually indistinguishable from being in the office. Customers are using Citrix Workspace to securely access what they need to stay productive, from apps and content to soft phones and multimedia. Our Asia Pacific/Japan (APJ) support teams were the first to invoke our business continuity plan (BCP) and have been using their usual Workspace environments from home without missing a beat.
- Demonstrate care for employee well-being: The Citrix APJ team also partnered with our HR organization to make sure they were ready to provide holistic extra care for our employees that were forced to stay quarantined in their homes, ensuring they had access to healthcare services and supplies like masks. They also prepared managers to help employees feeling strain from the impact of isolation caused by quarantines. To help, they are making overtures to check in on their teams to keep a personal connection live or through Slack. Team leaders in APJ and other regions are holding regular coffee chat sessions where employees can connect.
Organizations that can best care for and preserve the progress of their employees will experience tremendous benefits. At the business level, productivity is the sum of individuals’ progress. If you demonstrate care for your employee’s experience — their safety, progress, and well-being — they’ll reward you with the innovation and discretionary effort to find solutions to seemingly impossible problems and carry your organization through this time.
Find support resources and learn about how Citrix is helping its customers maintain business continuity. You can also download our white paper to learn best practices for a complete business continuity strategy and how Citrix technologies provide secure access to apps and data on any device, over any network or cloud.
Get more insights from Chris Voce at the Sept. 22 webinar, The New Employee Benefits Experience: Five tips for turning this moment into momentum. Register below.
In his role as a customer engagement strategist as Citrix, Chris Voce helps clients and prospects understand and embrace the employee experience as part of their business strategy. Prior to joining Citrix, he was the Vice President & Research Director at Forrester Research where he led the organization’s employee experience research strategy for business and technology leaders. Throughout his career, Chris has been quoted in CIO Magazine, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and has made appearances on NPR and WBZ NewsRadio. This blog was originally published on Citrix.