Business leaders are facing critical, post-COVID return-to-office decisions that will impact organizational culture, employee engagement, and firm performance. The COVID Pandemic's effect on workforce dynamics, employee engagement, and organizational trauma have been adequately researched separately. However, the relationship between COVID return-to-office transitions, employee engagement, and organizational trauma has not been adequately studied together. This article examines how leaders can implement a Return-to-Office process that sustains employee productivity, a healthy organizational culture, and firm performance in the aftermath of COVID-19 which we characterize as a traumatic event. Specifically, we explore the Organizational Trauma caused by COVID-19, the dramatic and sudden mandatory shift to remote work, and the effect on employee engagement and ultimately firm performance. Organizational trauma may result from a single devastating event, the effects of several harmful events, or cumulative trauma. Leadership decisions post-COVID could be more harmful than helpful and can cause the organization to suffer again from various forms of trauma. For example, when leaders make return-to-office decisions, they should include the psychological factors that their decisions have on employees’ discretionary effort, voice behaviors and firm performance. We explore how HR and business leaders can demonstrate healthy decision-making and implementation processes that will not retraumatize employees nor endanger the organization’s success. Further, we examine productive interventions for today’s leaders as they seek to adjust to changing employment conditions.
About Rutgers Business Review
George Washington University, USA
Rob Bogosian is the co-author of Breaking Corporate Silence and has been featured in Business Insider, Rutgers University Business Journal, Academy of International Business, CNN Money, Fortune Magazine, CEO Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg Radio...
University of Louisville, USA
Lynda Byrd-Poller has worked in the field of education for more than thirty years and has assumed a variety of leadership positions that have allowed her to mentor, supervise, collaborate, and train, students, faculty, and governing boards. Her work includes strategic...
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