Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, the Director of Human Resources at Vodafone Ghana has said trust and flexibility are the new norms for employee engagement.
Speaking at the 2022 edition of the HR Focus Conference, Ashiokai Akrong described how COVID-19 has altered the world of work and how workers have adapted to flexible working environments and flexible working hours. Therefore, she emphasised the need for organisations to focus on increasing employee productivity, rather than insisting on their presence at the workplace.
“The future of work is flexibility,” she added. ” If you are the employer who insists, ‘I need to see you otherwise you are not working, you will face problems. People want flexibility. People have grown accustomed to being able to control their time, work a schedule, and then undertake other tasks. So, coming back and saying, ‘I’m going to take it all back from you,’ would force your staff to look for other options.”
Speaking on the importance of trust in the workplace, she said that for employees to develop an emotional connection to their organisations, senior management must be transparent in their communication and prove through their actions that they can be trusted, especially during times of crisis.
“Communication builds trust in leaders. What your company is doing must be communicated. When you ask your employees to make certain sacrifices during a crisis, they must understand the situation and realise from senior management’s actions that the firm is truly in crisis. They must not see senior leadership go out and buy the next new Range Rover while all other employees suffer,” she explained.
Every year, HR Focus hosts the Vodafone HR Focus Conference for HR professionals of all levels and sectors. The 2022 edition of the Vodafone HR Focus Conference brought together over 300 HR practitioners and business leaders to discuss the topic of “HR’s Role in Embracing the Future of Work During Economic Crises.”
Speakers at the event included Dr Mrs Ellen Hagan, Founder and CEO of the L’AINE Group; Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, Vodafone HR Director; Nana Elegba, Chief HR Officer of The Multimedia Group; Dr Mrs Irene Stella Agyenim Boateng, Advisor to the CEO of Volta River Authority; Michael Otchere Duah, HR Director of Unilever Ghana; Clement Wiredu, CEO of Becksworth Consulting; and Gideon Ataraire, CEO of Allianz Life Insurance Ghana.