Belonging and beyond: How to create great culture virtually

Staying connected is easy – or is it?

Belonging and beyond: How to create great culture virtually

As Australia digs deep into the post-Covid recovery period, one thing is clear: Virtual working isn’t going away anytime soon.

Recent research by Slack found employees are not keen to give up their hard-won flexible working gains, with just under 50% of those surveyed willing to ditch their employer if working flexibly was taken off the table. Reducing commute time, lowering carbon footprints, and for some, offering a more productive, quiet space to work – there are plenty of benefits of working from home.

But in this new world of hybrid working, how can organisations stay connected to their people?

Read more: #kudos: Why belonging is key to wellness

Speaking to HRD, Mark Barling, senior sales director at Achievers APAC, said how organisations foster a sense of belonging has fundamentally changed as a result of the pandemic.

“Belonging itself has become a more complex subject to discuss because it’s not just about connecting physically at the worksite or people thinking ‘this a really good job, I like it because it's fulfilling’,” he said.

“Belonging has evolved to include many more attributes about the company you're working for. People want to belong to organisations who are out there trying to make a difference socially, economically and environmentally. We’re seeing people choosing not to work with organisations where individuals don’t see the world going in the future.”

In the talent-short market Australia is experiencing at the moment, the importance of a company’s values and corporate social responsibility has certainly risen. Organisations are now thinking more strategically about how they’re attracting new talent, as well as retaining employees already within the business.

In an upcoming Achievers webinar, Barling will join a trio of leading HR professionals to discuss how belonging has changed in the last 12 months. They’ll delve into the challenges standing in the way of building great culture and engagement, the positive impact of recognition and how an inclusive culture fosters better belonging. During the live webinar, attendees will hear from Amanda Hart, Head of HR ANZ at Dyson, Anita Fleming, Co-Founder & Director at FourFold Consulting and Ellie McBride, Chief People Officer at Bumper.

Read more: Digital community that fosters employee belonging launches in NZ

Barling said going forward, belonging will continue to be a key pillar of employee experience. But to ensure hybrid teams don’t become disengaged when they’re not together, organisations must be far more intentional than in previous years. Research has found Gen Z jobseekers are particularly influenced by an organisation’s values when looking for new roles, but Barling cautioned employers to avoid trying to be all things to all people.

“I think an organisation doesn't necessarily need to be something that it's not just to appeal to a certain worker,” he said. “But being able to define a clear identity and what you stand for as an organisation certainly helps reinforce what it means to work for that organisation.

“Organisations can and should be much clearer about their employer value proposition by just staying true to what they believe in.”

To join the free, virtual session and hear expert insight from the panel of speakers, register for the upcoming webinar here.

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