• Clare Eager

2021 - The Rebound Year ???

Published in the Peterborough Telegraph on the 7th January 2021

We have all heard of ‘being on the rebound’ but this is a little different. 2020 took a lot from us in terms of resilience, staying power and perseverance. Here we are, at the start of 2021, but with two different vaccines on the nearby horizon and the hope of getting closer to the state of ‘normal’ that we all had – whatever ‘normal’ means for us individually.

I think it is wise for us to consider the concept of ‘rebound’ within the work environment and within the important context of the employee/employer relationship.

Many employees will have experienced a different world of work since March 2020 and this will have left its mark on them. Those marks will be a combination of positive and negative implications and some will be transient, and some will be permanent. Employees are also likely to have experienced significant impacts during this time personally and as we all know, there is no separating the two now.

So again, it is up to the employers to step up and be prepared for the backlash of the ‘rebound effect’. As accountable and responsible employers, what should we be expecting?

For organisations that have been able to continue to operate and thrive, employees are likely to be feeling that of all years, they have contributed significantly to the organisation and they will be looking for recognition of that contribution. Likely to be in the traditional method of financial compensation. Therefore, employers should be reviewing their reward and benefits packages to ensure that they are appropriate and competitive and then making sure that their job benchmarking is current.

As the traditional methods of working become more viable, employees who embraced the remote working culture, may look to exchange a permanent office environment for working from home. It is likely there will be more flexible working requests based on location and hours than ever hitting managers inboxes. Organisations should be reviewing their flexible and remote working policies considering the pandemic and the knowledge of how the organisation flourished and/or floundered during that time. Consideration should be given not only to the practical ‘what’ tasks but also to the ‘how’ the tasks were delivered.

There should also be considerable thought given to organisation culture and how the pandemic has influenced it. Assessing the impact and strategising on the next steps forward should involve employee feedback.

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