Coming Back Better - Week 3 - More ongoing kudos for ‘lower skilled’, frontline keyworker and public sector jobs

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 09:29 AM


So on to our next “keeper”. Clap for Carers may have run its course and it may not have been universally accepted as a great thing, but for many it did provide a form of recognition that has been somewhat missing in our society. People have told us about putting hand-made ‘thank you’ stickers on their bins for the refuse collectors, of people offering postal workers refreshments and use of their toilets, of people making more effort to thank delivery drivers and writing hand-made cards and gifts for care assistants.

The concept – and value – of key workers has become much more deeply understood and whilst many have responded by showing greater recognition and appreciation for all those who have kept the world on its feet, there are equally some who have directed their anger, fear and frustration at those individuals.

This probably harks back to our earlier point about inclusivity, but ALL workers should merit the same respect, understanding, acceptance and recognition, regardless of grade, level, job family, salary and visibility.

A recent Harvard Business Review white paper reported that 87% of the business leaders they surveyed felt that their organisations would be more successful if frontline workers were fully empowered to make important decisions in the moment and highlights the need to focus senior leadership attention on this critical part of their workforce. Frontline roles are often the real ‘face’ of an organisation, the individuals that have direct contact with customers, clients or service users and the people that can make a real difference to how the organisation is perceived and experienced by those outside of it. In terms of numbers, frontline roles also usually make up the majority of the organisation, so overlooking them when it comes to reward, recognition and talent management is sheer folly.

Coming back better should mean that we retain that recognition of the value that everyone brings so managers and HR departments alike should be taking a fresh look at how valued the entire workforce feels.

Our first few weeks back afford a great opportunity to take stock of this, to measure engagement levels and really understand how people are feeling. Make sure that your engagement survey has a pulse option, so you can get real-time data in a quick and agile manner. Check your questions and make sure you are measuring how valued and recognised people feel, at all levels. Using a tool like Head Light’s Talent En-Gauge will allow you to see where there might be immediate areas for attention and action, which managers are struggling, where there are pockets of excellence that others can learn from.

To help you decide what's important in your organisation, we have developed an Engagement Questionnaire designed specifically to provide you insight as to how employees feel about the return, or continuing as they are, what they really need from their manager and peers, and what they want to abandon.  Ultimately, this will give you a strong steer to your short and medium-term OD priorities.  There are some T&Cs, but we are making no charge to use it.  Why not join those who have already made plans to use it?

We hope you'll tune in next week when we'll be considering our employers showing more interest in us as people, as individuals. If you have missed our earlier pieces, you can find them on our blog here.

If you have any questions in the meantime do please get in touch, and pass this along to a colleague so that they can sign up too!

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