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10 Tips to Improve Workplace Culture and Employee Engagement in the New Year

(Part 4 of 6)

Adapt Agile Leadership (Flexibility is here to stay)

Flexibility is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Being agile is being able to quickly adjust and adapt to change. Successful leaders are able to deal with uncertain times and respond to a changing environment.

Be Proactive in all ways; including:

Work arrangements: the pandemic quickly revealed that many organizations could convert to remote work arrangements and after 2+ years employees are asking for remote, hybrid, and/or in-person work.

Benefits: with many generations of workers in the workforce, providing variety and options in benefits should be a consideration when crafting plans. Some employees value retirement plans while others

Recruiting: flexibility starts with the interview: consider asking what the candidate prefers from the beginning virtual or in-person interview.

Work styles: strive to understand the individual work preferences of the various groups (as they are referred to) now available in the labor pool. New grads seeking their first job; Traditionalists who are very skilled in their field and can easily transfer to your organization with little ramp-up time; Gronks largest potential pool that will re-enter after retirement, underrecruited; individuals that stopped working due to pandemic to care for others or enter a different industry; Laid off Individuals with different skills and lack experience in your field, Re-entry candidates (incarcerated) that may have transferable skills or willing to train.

Be Consistent and Hold People Accountable

Believe it or not, employees actually want to be held accountable. It is much less stressful to know what the rules are and know what the consequences are when you violate those rules. Leadership models the way by knowing the policies and procedures and ensuring they are followed. Even if you think 'they won't know about it this one time', employees are really smart and there are no secrets. You signed up for this leadership position and with that comes the responsibility to have difficult conversations. While it may not seem like it at the time, it is much easier to be consistent than it is to make concessions. If you have found yourself straying from the policies, partner with internal resources (HR, your supervisor, and/or mentor) and discuss a plan or correction. Ideally, to course correct, you educate, set a date, and implement, then follow the plan.

This is Part 4 of a 6 Part Series on 10 Tips to Improve Workplace Culture and Employee Engagement in the New Year. We will explore more tips next Monday. Follow me for leadership advice.

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