During a recent interview I was asked whether or not companies should be focused on promoting more work-life balance duing a time they are struggling. Should the offer a more flexible work schedule during a time of uncertainty and change? Is this how they should respond? Here’s my take on it:
I’m sure that’s exactly what people want during questionable times, more change. While the essence of the idea is certainly well founded and one I endorse during a period of normalcy, doing so now is a little to much too late. Unfortunately, most companies are delivering the wrong message that sounds similar to this: “So, we all know that it’s tough out there. We feel like we are on shaky ground. Many believe we’re heading into a recession. That’s why we feel it would be a good idea to offer you a choice whether or not you want to come into work or if you’d rather work remotely.”
Companies keep missing the mark. What their employees really want is open, honest communication. They want you to tell them how it really is. The real truth, without pulling punches. That builds trust and loyalty during times of uncertainty. Build consensus, build in more discussion groups rather than ‘meetings.’ Do more one to one coaching to really get a strong sense of where people are and what they really want and need that would give them the confidence and security they want in their career. This way, they can then actually focus on doing their job without these “What if’s” and other costly distractions that a fear based mentality creates.