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Channel Insider: The balancing act of the business and its greatest assets – the employees

Channel Insider: The balancing act of the business and its greatest assets – the employees

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Glyn Yates is Principle Consultant, GTM International. In this monthly column for Intelligent Tech Channels, he shares his expertise and views on the channel and partner community.  

As COVID-19 continues, companies must strive to protect employee wellbeing to support the business wellbeing

A lot, and I mean a lot, of focus has been on technology challenges and adoption to overcome COVID implications. But, while we have focused on the tech, the human element has been sidelined somewhat.

However, as the pandemic stretches on, and with the only certainty being uncertainty, we are seeing clear indicators that the working community needs personal interaction for basic human wellbeing. We spend a good percentage of our time ‘at work’ so it is vital that the new normal must consider that we are men (and women), not machines.

Zoom fatigue and productivity burnout

In this always Zooming environment we are tied to our screens. Productivity has spiked as our meeting workload has jumped from three to four a day to two or three times that, but with this spike also comes fatigue. Coffee breaks tend to be coffee during a call. Lunch breaks… ha. Then add the blurring of the lines between home and work – where previously a drive home from the office and removing the proverbial ‘tie’ meant the end of the day, and when you would never do a partner meeting at 8pm, but a partner remote meeting at the same time seems acceptable in this ‘always on’ world. It’s exhausting.

Remote onboarding and enablement is difficult

Onboarding employees, partners and customers is now far harder, and serious efforts should be made to define a plan for each. No longer can a new starter walk around the head office and get acquainted with key people and see their desks (often a personality indicator) or bump into the CEO in the cafeteria. No longer can we spend long afternoons sat with partners, while they are working, to understand how they work and hence how we can support them better. No longer are we on-site with customers walking the corridors and building internal stakeholder champions in multiple departments.

Success is harder to celebrate

During these times, there are those teams and companies that have enjoyed great success, those where COVID reactions have contributed to driving stronger revenues and better outlooks, yet whether it is the waterboarding of negative news from all media angles, or whether the team building, bonding and celebratory get togethers are just not possible, this success doesn’t taste as sweet if not shared, especially when most success is a team effort. We must find a way to celebrate success and achievement again, much more than a LinkedIn appreciation post.

On the lighter side of life, over the last few months I have noticed:

I eat better – far less lunchtime fast food carb overloads.

My feet are bigger – being barefoot for most of the day, my feet have expanded. Back to work will mean a trip to the stores.

Luckily this will be paid for by the savings in my dry-cleaning bill. Work shirts are still worn for important Zooms (old school) but for one hour at a time, interchanging with the t-shirt of the day, generally over shorts – what I used to dry-clean in a week I now dry-clean in a month or two.

It is yet to be determined on whether WFH contributes to long-term employee wellbeing, and when your key resources are your employees… We have focused on the business, now how do we shift and get the balance right?

Disclaimer.

I have walked many roads and worn many hats and, although my experience and expertise can be valuable, my outlook on the world at large is my own and does not necessarily represent that of ITC.

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