Smile@Work | Solutions for happy workers

Words from pros
04 Jan 2022

How to motivate employees to come back to the office?

For almost two years, the professional world has undergone profound changes. While employees, with the resurgence of the pandemic, are encouraged to return to work at office, there is no matter going back. The context is different, working methods are hybrid and employee expectations have evolved. Coming back to each of these novelties, Caroline Simon, specialist in talent retention, Founder of EFICAP RH Coaching, gives Multiburo an update on a challenge that is more than ever a priority for companies: developing employee engagement.

In the professional world, the health crisis has also played a role in accelerating trends already at work for several years. Among the most notable developments: the explosion in the use of new technologies, the growing complexity of the work environment, the emergence of new professions and the disappearance of others. In addition to these upheavals, for several months, in many sectors, a real shortage of talent. At stake ? A reversal of the employment market, a certain “balance of power”. “When a candidate has the choice between several companies, it changes the situation,” sums up Caroline Simon. And the structures concerned must position themselves to respond precisely to the expectations of employees ”. They also have to motivate employees.

Commitment and motivation, two key issues for companies to motivate employees

 In this context, marked by reluctance and uncertainties linked to the health situation, the already central notions of “commitment” and “motivation” of employees take on a new dimension.

Engagement can be defined as the active (or even pro-active) participation of the person in their work and with their organization. Nourished of usefulness in a common project, the affective dimension of commitment is fundamental, and directly strengthens the development and performance of the employee.

The notion of motivation relates more to the individual field. Caroline Simon specifies: “Applied neurosciences have taught us that there are two types of motivations: external ones, which depend on the material working conditions and in particular on remuneration, and internal ones, much more lasting, which imply a voluntary approach of the employee ”. Responding to basic psychological needs, these fall into three categories: learning, a sense of belonging and autonomy. Complementing the need to give meaning, these dimensions are all decisive in improving employee motivation and fulfillment.

Listening, collaborative approach and balance

In concrete terms, what levers should the company operate? How can you make your employees want to get fully involved, to come back to work face-to-face? A point essential is reciprocity of commitment. More than ever, it is about listening to the expectations of your employees. “Many companies have had the intelligence to listen to their employees following periods of lockdown,” says Caroline Simon. We have seen that the expression of needs promotes the empowerment of employees who, at the same time, become actors in their own working conditions “.

While it is essential, the quality of life at work is only part of this challenge. Because it is broader, the concept of employee experience is more relevant. “On this subject, I am convinced that the decisive notion today is that of balance,” said the consultant. Balance between people and digital, between face-to-face work and teleworking, between professional and personal life … “

From teleworking to face-to-face work, a necessarily hybrid solution to reconnect and motivate employees

One of the keys is therefore to find the right balance between working in company premises and remotely. The many studies carried out on the subject point to the need to set up – when, of course, the activity allows it – a hybrid work organization, which will therefore benefit from being desired by stakeholders.

Thus, while recourse to teleworking proves to be a strong argument for building loyalty or recruiting, working face-to-face remains essential to unite teams and develop a sense of belonging. After confinement, everyone could see that the pleasure of meeting up was real. “Human beings need a social bond,” sums up Caroline Simon, who herself, living in a Multiburo space, regularly visits the premises to work. “I like human contact, face to face exchanges. I particularly appreciate the small convivial events that are organized there “.

Back to the office: need to rethink the work environment

If one of the primary functions of the office is now to maintain social ties. The work environment and the layout of spaces must be aligned with this perception. Spaces for discussion and conviviality are among the essentials to be taken into account in order to organize the office of tomorrow. Informal meeting spaces, a pleasant coffee corner, modular offices… so many possibilities that will encourage meetings and exchanges. With the advent of teleworking, the office will be an asset for maintaining social ties and seeing colleagues. It is therefore essential that the environment is conducive to this.

Finally, for companies, the key turns out to be able to co-construct sustainable solutions, by adapting to the needs of employees thanks to close management. After a period of health risk :

  • organize a return to the office progressive,
  • taking care to reassure employees of the solutions implemented to guarantee health at work.

And when collective solutions are put in place, it is also essential to be attentive to the particular weaknesses of each person (mental health, family constraints, etc.). And so, again and again, to find the right balance.

Need a flexible solution to mix office and telecommuting? To welcome your employees and allow them to meet where and when they need it?

Discover Multiburo spaces, private offices, coworking spots, meeting rooms and virtual office services in France, Belgium and Switzerland.


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