Siemens, a global German powerhouse in industry, energy, healthcare and infrastructure solutions, is the latest company to allow employees to work from anywhere for two or three days a week. It’s also going to start focusing on outcomes rather than time spent in the office. More than 100,000 employees will have access to a new app that provides local data on the COVID-19 situation, shows office occupancy levels, and acts as a contact tracing tool. Music to my ears.
This move by Siemens – and other well-known brands such as Facebook and Twitter – signals a long-overdue perk for global workers, who have been clamoring for more generous work-from-home policies for decades. The beauty? It’s happening. The beast? It’s only happening because COVID-19 is forcing companies to rethink its policies.
Employees have been asking for flexible work arrangements for years and many leaders didn’t listen. It took a global pandemic for leaders to act. So, it’s no wonder why 66% of U.S. employees and 85% of global employees are disengaged, and feel disrespected. However, lucky for us, there are lessons learned in every business situation, including this.
JILL, WHAT CAN I DO? Listen to your employees. It should not have taken a global pandemic for leaders to deliver something to employees that they have been asking for since technology took hold in business around 1995. Employees know what they want and what they need, and are more than willing to communicate it. If you do not deliver, you will get a fraction of their mindshare, effort, creativity, drive, heart, soul, and passion. Deliver and the sky’s the limit. Employees will go out of their way for you and your customers in ways that you cannot even imagine… but it’s up to you to listen.