While employee relationships have been eroded during the pandemic, companies can address this by focusing on key areas in their return-to-work plans. The way that organizations conduct business has been rethought.

As a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns and the rise of work-from-home culture, many major changes have occurred. More than a few people are seeing dramatic changes in what is expected of them at work, and companies have to realign themselves to try to get a better handle on the various tasks they need to take care of.

Needless to say, it is not easy getting it all handled at this time, but it is important to recognize how something like weak ties matter even more than ever right now.

Why Weak Ties Matter in Organizations

Weak ties in an organization allow that organization to gain access to unique information from diverse groups. Put another way; weak ties make it possible for secure information to get where it needs to go without as many roadblocks.

Sometimes, a group simply needs access to a piece of information at this very moment in order to use it to better the company in some way.

If that information is kept away from them by being protected under lock and key somewhere, then it is not going to be nearly as beneficial or useful to them as it otherwise could or should have been.

Social Capital is Critical for the Future of Hybrid Work

One of the things that keeps some executives up at night is the thought of their organization falling apart as a result of the shift to remote work. They worry that employees will:

Factors of remote working causing organization fall apart

  • Lose a sense of the structure of the organization
  • Not fully understand what is expected of them or how they are supposed to adapt
  • Make poor choices as a result of their lack of guidance
  • Lose faith in the mission of their employer

Perhaps some of these fears are justified, and maybe some of them are overblown, but the bottom line is that employers are worried about these types of things. If they don’t work to build social capital before sending workers to work remotely, then it is understandable that things could fall apart.

It is critical to try to build strong social bonds between employees while they are still working side by side.

The reality is that when people are locked away from one another, they are often unable to interact with one another as quickly as they might otherwise. They are segregated from one another as they are locked in their own individual homes, and it can make for an atmosphere where everyone feels at least a little isolated.

The fear that comes with this is that people will not adapt appropriately to their surroundings, and they may even lose interest in their continued employment with you. You should try to help avoid this type of burnout among your employees by keeping them strongly connected to one another.

Forming Teams in the New Normal

Forming teams normally

You realize now that the only way that your company will survive and thrive is if you push to form new teams of workers who can interact with one another to get things done. It is not easy to get everyone lined up and working on the same mission, but you know for a fact that you need to get this done, and the best way to do so is to start to form those new teams from the ground up.

To create teams in this new world we live in, you must first try to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various employees. You are doing so because you need to figure out where to place these various workers within your organization’s hierarchy and their new teams.

Every team needs certain members put together in ways that will best serve the business. This means that you should try to collaborate with your employees to see who they might like to be teamed up with. In addition, you should check to see if there are characteristics that stand out to you about individual members that you identify as likely to work well together.

Start forming your teams, and make tweaks to the structure of those teams as necessary. Often, it is nearly impossible to tell who might work well together until you simply put them in the same room and send them off to figure out if they can make it work or not.

Onboarding as a Critical Component of Workforce Development

Never underestimate the onboarding process. You need to think about the type of people you hire, but you also need to think about the onboarding process. You deserve to mold your workers into talented professionals. You can only reach this goal once you have looked at your onboarding process and made sure that you can train people how you expect them to be trained.

Many people have discovered that what they do in the onboarding process is perhaps the most critical element of what they do the entire time that they are working to get a new employee into the fold. The reality is, that there are a lot of steps that happen when onboarding a new employee.

It is reported that 9 out of 10 employees say that they are willing to quit a job in the first month if it doesn’t feel like the right fit for them! That astounding number is something we all need to recognize as a big deal for any organization trying to hire.

There are so many things that can go wrong in the first month someone is employed with a new company. Keep that in mind as you revamp your hiring and onboarding processes.

Principles to Think About With the Return to Work

Not every company is sending their people to work remotely at this time. In fact, for some, it is just the opposite. They are returning employees because they feel like they need more of them in the office than before. If that is where your business is, you should remember the following.

Employees Will Need to Adjust

Many people have become very familiar with the work-from-home lifestyle at this time, and they will need some time to adjust to being back in the office. Give employees the space that they need to adjust back into their surroundings.

Take Lessons from the WFH Lifestyle

Some of the lessons that were learned when employees were allowed to work from home can be brought into the office. You don’t have to abandon everything that was picked up along the way. Some powerful lessons may still be valid and useful at this time. If that is the case, you should try to take as many of those lessons as possible and encourage employees to continue to grow and learn from anything useful they picked up while working from home.

Conclusion

The entire business world is going through a period of massive adjustment at this time. Companies that work to better themselves during this time by learning the lessons that they are meant to learn during this time will do much better than those who don’t. Try to be the leader you know you are and establish solid principles to help your employees grow and adapt to the new way the business world works.

Sara Paul
Author

I enjoy supporting ad hoc work at Biz-buzz as a primary research analyst. I usually write about marketing, business, finance, IT, and HR topics on social media, as I am more into marketing and business. As a podcaster and award-winning creative marketer, I still enjoy my pie on my couch, as should all right-thinking people.

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