Within the last year, workplaces have accelerated into a digital world. How we communicate, work, and live have changed dramatically. The year that was labeled “exhausting” by the Washington Post, was also the year that people grew and re-evaluated their needs within and without the workplace. So, right now, what exactly do employees value the most? According to recent 2021 studies, flexibility, abstract ways of measuring productivity, growth opportunities, and recognition are among some of the top needs from employees. Finding an employer that can adapt to these needs not only improves the lives of its workers, but also its quality of work.
The implementation of these variables leads to overall happier and invested employees. Flexibility is the new normal. In fact, “88% of knowledge workers say that when searching for a new position, they will look for one that offers complete flexibility in their hours and location.” In 2020, employees proved that working remotely can be just as effective as working in the office. Now, people have a choice to match their work with their lifestyle, and workers need that flexibility – especially after experiencing it for a year. This empowerment improves employees’ wellbeing and willingness to work, and in return, employees will be more invested in their company. As for the day to day work, individuals are wanting a more collaborative way of measuring results. For example, “86% of employees said they would prefer to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output.” This goal drives companies to focus on the final result vs the amount of time it took to complete. It empowers employees to focus on efficiency since time spent doesn’t always equal the quality of the result. As an employee continues to drive high quality results, they need internal opportunities to work towards. “Organizations that want to retain their talent need to help employees identify their next internal opportunity so they don’t feel that the only way they can progress their career is to look externally.” Such opportunities could include an internal open job board, promotions, a new assignment, or connecting employees with other people or teams that could help them reach their goals. Results deserve to be recognized, and when they are, employees appreciate it. In fact, “Giving well-deserved recognition increases self-esteem, enthusiasm and boosts morale.” That personal support can carry along to a team, a department, and an entire company. Positive reinforcement can drive a team to excellence when done authentically and consistently.
The company I currently work for, Coegi, has not only listened to what employees need to feel empowered, but have also implemented our highly supported ideas. Personally, the flexibility provided to me has been wonderful. After I graduated college in May, I wanted to travel to Austin, Texas and explore a new city; however, I was unsure about remote options. After speaking with a few people in the company, they were flexible enough to make this happen for me. In response to their willingness to work with my personal goals, I feel extremely invested in the company and have a desire to show my appreciation through my work and relationships within the company.
Coegi also does a great job encouraging growth and learning within our departments. The conversation to grow and try out new roles started when I first began working as a part-timer that involved learning about other departments, checking the internal job board, having a choice in the types of clients we want to work on, etc. That encouragement to learn also relates to how we interact on a day-to-day basis. The team I am on currently has many different options outside of the office to support one another. We use “appreciation gifs” to say thank you when needed on our tasks. We also have company wide “cheers” for when someone goes above and beyond. This positive feedback has encouraged our company to work hard and always recognize the pieces that fit into our bigger goals.
How Other Members of the Social Team Feel Empowered at Coegi
Anissa: Social Media Specialist
“In my short time at Coegi, I have been continually impressed with how the company and its employees support each other every day. It is so uplifting to work at a company that values and actively promotes teamwork, collaboration, and continual learning. I love how the team recognizes others achievements and hard work so we can all celebrate and uplift together!”
Julia R: Social Media Specialist
“Over the course of my year working at Coegi, I have been empowered with a flexible schedule, positive feedback, and a voice in my role. However, the most important aspect is my supportive team. Ever since I began working, I picked up on the uplifting and supportive culture that is present both online and in person. This dynamic has encouraged me to have the confidence to take on new challenges and relay that encouragement to other people on my team.”
Casey: Social Media Specialist
“My time at Coegi has shown me that with a strong team, anything is possible. Everyone at Coegi wants one another to succeed. My team has helped me to gain confidence in my own abilities as a digital marketer.”
Rachel: Social Media Specialist
“Since I have started at Coegi, I have felt empowered through the support of my colleagues. Everyone is willing to help at any time, and it is a teamwork-oriented environment. I know that my teammates respect my opinions and are willing to work together to achieve our common goals.”
Alyssa: Social Media Campaign Assistant
“Although I have only been working at Coegi for a few weeks, my experience has been nothing but positive. Everyone is more than willing to assist with the transition and support my progress within the company.”
Creating an empowering environment in the workplace has proven to be extremely beneficial to the well-being of each employee and the quality of work in response. Flexibility, growth/measurement opportunities, and recognition are just some of the variables that empower employees. As we continue to navigate through 2021, it is important to continue this open conversation about these topics and find ways to support each employee.
Contributing Author: Julia Read, Social Media Specialist at Coegi