In a powerful leadership gesture, a company used Platos online forums to gather their people and check how they were coping six months into the pandemic. The data told them in granular detail how to tailor immediate outreach and remedies, and informed strategy for their next challenge: planning for the post-pandemic work environment. Read more.
A new Chief People Officer wanted to reach out to their people and check in on how they were faring six months into the COVID-19 crisis. Video-con check-ins between leaders and their teams was one thing, but how do you gather the whole workforce around you and talk about sensitive issues when you can’t meet?
The crisis of getting people working remotely was passing, and the new challenge of workforce planning in a very ambiguous and uncertain future was looming now.
They wanted to hear from their people on two themes:
- How are you coping with working from home and how can the company support you to make it work well?
- How should we keep what’s good about working from home? What should we do to mitigate what’s not so good? Now that the mindshift has happened, what else can we do in a new paradigm?
Those at the helm of the company wanted to demonstrate inclusive leadership, supporting their people through difficult times, and including them in their “last mile” of strategy when planning for the post-COVID-19 work environment.
Invitations to participate in a Platos forum were sent out to nearly 900 employees and contractors. The 5 day forum was anonymous to help employees feel psychologically safe in sharing their stories, meaning leadership could trust that what they heard was candid and not moderated by what bosses might like to hear. The forum was moderated independently by Pax Republic moderation partners.
The customer effectively road tested their return to work planning, with the data enabling them to know which demographic groups held which views on flexibility. The Platos forum brought up many ideas for how to meld remote work, autonomy and accountability and provided safe social connection where it was needed and sought most.
This ground-troops insight informed the company’s operational model, logistics and workforce planning strategy to ensure their eventual return to work would be as productive as possible, so they can hit the ground running post-lockdown. The powerful leadership gesture - we’re confident - will be reflected in retention of top talent in reporting seasons to come.
“Thanks for this opportunity and for creating this forum.
Although it’s challenging working at home, getting to
spend this much time with family is probably something
I’ll never get to do again. So that's the silver lining.”
—Platos Forum Participant