Why Letting Your Employees Build Their Own Work Policies Will Inspire a Resilient Workforce

In the midst of a global pandemic, and over a year after we experienced an unprecedented shift to remote work, organizations are rebuilding their resilient workforces. Certainly, no one can perfectly plan for unexpected disasters like a global pandemic. However, in a moment, organizations’ internal infrastructures, policies, and processes were rendered ‘useless’ — rippling disruptions that have impacted the very idea of work-life balance

The Cause of Burnout

Let’s rewind and go back to the beginning when COVID-19 first wreaked havoc — many organizations were not prepared to adopt a fully disrupted workforce model. The result? A lack of proper tools. These days, employers and employees alike have figured out work-from-home and have created the necessary environment needed to deliver quality work. Still, this transformation did not occur overnight, and the hard truth is the balance between work and personal life has been blurred. 

It’s easy to sign on early at 7 AM and get out those few emails that you’ve been meaning to send. In fact, increased workloads and longer hours are a recurring theme due to prolonged remote work– and nearly every industry is experiencing major burnout issues. Despite employers encouraging vulnerability and transparency to promote mental health among employees during the initial transition — building a resilient workforce requires intention on the employer’s part.

No Longer a ‘One Size Fits All’ Model

Many organizations have been slow to adapt and reluctant to accept over the past 18 months; a fundamental change has occurred to the power dynamic — making it an employee market. The value placed on employers’ willingness to be flexible and agile, listening to the needs of their employees, has increased exponentially.

This is a big deal as the idea of ‘mandating’ policies is becoming a relic of the past — creating a blueprint for an incremental shift towards “build your own policy” models. It’s important to note, that organizations shouldn’t rush to rewrite policies as the only way to adapt and operate a disrupted workforce. Rather, it’s as simple as going back to their core values and being reminded as to why they matter. That is the first step to building a resilient workforce. 

After all, the “one size fits all” model is no longer applicable. By going back to the basics, organizations that encourage open communication and trust from managers to their teams are driving inclusivity in the workplace. Resilient workplaces are intentional, and organizations that proactively recognize collective strength are achieved by implementing forward-thinking policies that work for every team member. These are the ones leading the new wave of the future of work.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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