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Barbra Carlisle of Arcadis: How employers and employees can succeed in the new normal

Barbra Carlisle, Leader in Social Impact discusses the ways in which employees and employers can best prepare themselves for new ways of working. 

The core skills that make a business great, like the ability to communicate, to sell, to create dynamic teams that meet, and exceed customer expectation, are no different in the ‘new normal’ era than in the past.

We have always needed leaders who can get the best out of their people, just like we have always needed people to play their part in the bigger picture to meet organisational goals.

What has changed is how we do these core business activities, and the increasing reliance on the power of human connection and influence to succeed. Wherever we work there is an increasing appetite for human interactions that are thoughtful, respectful and meaningful.

Coaching along with emotional and social intelligence has never been more important in the workplace than it is today. Is this a skills and employability issue? It certainly is. As more people are working at home, alone, responding to manager requests and expectations, the levels of anxiety rises while motivation may wain. People need to be resilient in today’s workplace. They need to know they are understood and supported.

Using the often-quoted mantra that people join a business but leave a manager there is a responsibility on leaders to upskill themselves in emotional intelligence to support effective productivity and motivation of their teams. Enhancing your coaching skills is one way to leap ahead on better understanding human behaviour, with specific skills around listening, reflecting and creating a safe space enabling your employees to flourish.


Similarly, employees need to take responsibility for their own skills development, and coaching is one way to encourage employees to problem solve for themselves as it is based on the principle that the best solutions to our challenges are held by ourselves. We may not be able to give ourselves the promotion we desire but we can learn to look at the things we can control and make steps to move towards our career goals.

The virtual environment need not be an impediment to skill development and career progression. Employees who work on their emotional intelligence will be those who learn to communicate effectively through the many technology channels adopted by business. They will also be among those employees who feel comfortable asking for what they want in terms of personal development and connecting with people in the virtual environment.

The intensity of this need and the fact that often your future career potential depends on how easily and effectively you connect and communicate virtually is a new challenge facing new and experienced hires. Seeking coaching and embracing the power of emotional intelligence can help us all navigate this new normal.

Barba Carlisle, Leader in Social Impact, Arcadis