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Sustainability + People

25 May 2022 5 min read

Culture is evolving. The COVID-19 pandemic and global disruptions have caused an upheaval. For most businesses, how we work and create impact has transformed since early 2020 and Vietnam is no exception.

Businesses in Vietnam had to allow their staff to work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hybrid models offer an ideal mix of office and remote working and this has been especially welcomed by employees. In a survey by Manpower Group, 42% of Vietnamese employees liked the idea of working three to four days per week from home. However, employers in Vietnam still prefer employees working from the office.

Hybrid and Wellbeing

While hybrid work is largely seen as a positive, there are challenges. Employees have complained of increasing workloads as more meetings are planned, and as lines between work and home get blurred. Apart from stress, employees have also complained about feeling isolated, experiencing mental health issues. In the same survey by Manpower Group, around 78 percent of Vietnamese employees ranked mental wellbeing as the most desirable aspect of their job.

What this means is that wellbeing initiatives of the past are no longer adequate today with hybrid working models and the increasing importance of mental health. To stay abreast of evolving expectations, we need new levers to strengthen engagement and keep people motivated.

Changing landscape

Given the changing landscape, companies must be sensitive to more than individual needs. They must also pay equal attention to shared concerns that unite and advance us as a collective and the key trends and expectations from a new generation of talent.

  • The rise of Gen Z . Gen Z, the newest members of the workforce, is expected to represent a third of the Vietnamese workforce by 2025. 80% of Gen Z believe they can be more effective working remotely.
  • Changing expectations – Technology enablement and the war for talent has made flexible work arrangement an expectation not a hygiene factor.
  • Extended COVID-19 situation – Workers have expressed concerns about catching potential new variants when working in an enclosed office area.

So how do we provide an environment that consistently nurtures the wider aspirations of today’s employees?

Culture of sustainability

A culture of sustainability that offers an enhanced employer value proposition based on purpose is designed to re-energise and reconnect teams to enhance business performance.

It fosters human potential and creativity, reimagining how we can enhance workplace culture to transcend the office.

This renewed take on workplace culture will bring driven and empowered employees. Resulting in increased productivity, higher retention, and lower absenteeism.

It is not only Gen Z that wishes to have a positive impact on the world. Putting the focus on a sense of meaning boosts motivation, creating a competitive advantage for their companies.

A culture of sustainability boosts engagement by demonstrating that employees are key stakeholders. This means involving them in identifying solutions and supporting them to create positive change to address wider societal and environmental challenges.

By giving special attention to individual needs and balancing profits with purpose, Vietnamese companies can create transformation at the individual, organisational, and societal levels for a shared sustainable future.

This article was first published in Sustainable Vietnam: A Focus on Sustainability, Partnerships, and Impact on 25 May 2022.

Dominic Mason
Managing Director, Southeast Asia
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