We had already heard about its “Boom” in the 90’s, but on both sides of the Atlantic, it mainly consisted of senior executives, engineering, sales and creative people. Telecommuting, now suddenly normalized by this pandemic, has become a reality for the majority of workers. In France, 39% of employees working for a company with more than ten people worked at home at least partially during confinement, half of them for the first time. In the United States, 42% were operating from home full time in June. The Coronavirus pandemic has blurred the lines enough, that a complete turnaround cannot be fathomed.
Of course, upheaval at such an accelerated rate raises a number of questions. One of the risks pointed out by human resources professionals is that of a “multi-speed company”, that could create a rift between blue-collar (those who are forced to come to work) and white-collar workers; among the latter, exist “home office” enthusiasts and those who are reluctant to work. How can we reconcile organizational performance and employee commitment in the new context? As Winston Churchill once said, “you should never spoil a good crisis”. This crisis, however, is creating a multitude of opportunities.
SMART? Easier said than done.
The first challenge is obviously to create as much value – or even more – than before, with a partly decentralized staff. Given that the further apart we are from each other, the more difficult it is to define the common framework and respect it, the current situation calls for a strengthening of processes. The idea then, is to align individual objectives with those of the company, from upper management through middle management to employees. These should be SMART (Specific – i.e. clearly defined, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic – in terms of relevancy – and Time-defined); an acronym that is simple to remember, but particularly difficult to implement. The Goals Wizard feature of the Cegid Talent software suite helps managers set such goals.
When created, they can then be weighted according to their overall importance. Their achievement rate remains easily accessible and the manager’s assessment can be given on a regular basis so that any deviations can be quickly corrected. The performance monitoring module invites you to create and manage dynamic, configurable forms for each type of evaluation. Thus, this “new normal” experienced by companies proves to be a unique opportunity to structure the follow-up of tasks with a broader framework, improving the rigor and precision of the course thanks to the adapted software tools.
A company is not a “collective of entrepreneurs”
It is useless to hope for quality execution in the long term without a good level of commitment from the employees. The success of a company – especially a service company – depends on the men and women behind it. The strong economic uncertainty generated by the pandemic must be an opportunity to rethink the relationship with employees in order to strengthen trust and the desire to participate in the common project. Otherwise, the danger – amplified by the development of telecommuting – is that of a “collective of entrepreneurs” where each person interprets the overall project in his or her own way and discusses endlessly the right way to proceed.
Every manager must therefore ask themselves whether they are effectively helping employees to achieve their goals. This requires the establishment of habits – regular meetings, scheduled well in advance – aimed at understanding how each person appropriates the common goal and what he or she may be missing. These meetings are an opportunity to build a real individual development plan and to decide on possible training, mentoring, coaching, co-development sessions, etc. These are all moments that give meaning to the mission while forging the common culture. Cegid Talent’s training solutions provide powerful tools for developing learning programs that meet organizational needs and serve individual skills. Investing in skills throughout a person’s career is the best lever to attract and retain the right people. Regardless of where they choose to work – from the office or at home.
BIOGRAPHY OF PASCAL GUILLEMIN :
Pascal graduated with a Master degree in labor law, completed by continuous HR training within the IGS group, Pascal GUILLEMIN began his professional career as an HR auditor.
He has worked as HR manager at CEM, a subsidiary of Cegid, where he became Group HR Director in 1996. He has thus actively contributed to the development of Cegid’s human resources: from recruitment in full transformation, to skills development, to labor relations, to a voluntary disability policy and a desire for quality integrations.