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The Herman Trend Alert: Post-Pandemic Values Transformation

This Herman Trend Alert looks at how to survive and thrive in this New Normal we find ourselves living in and moving toward.


Recently, the Barrett Values Center (BVC) produced an infographic to graphically show the results of their recent research about how individual and organizational values have shifted as a result of our having lived through this global pandemic crisis. This Herman Trend Alert is another in our series to help you decode all you need to know to survive and thrive in this New Normal we find ourselves living in and moving toward.

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A Shift in Personal Values
In their report, BVC found that four values are now particularly important to people. Those values are: Making a Difference, Adaptability, Well-Being and Caring – quite a predictable group, based on what has been happening. None of us can sit idly by and not want to do something to help. We have all had to be more adaptable to get along in these challenging times and certainly, the demand of these challenges makes us care about others to a greater degree than before.

The Evolving Employee Experience
BVC reports that the culture employees are increasingly expecting has moved from Performance, Control and Hierarchy to one of People Focus, Adaptability and Working Together – certainly a step in the right direction. At the same time, the new values being requested by top talent are Employee Engagement, Innovation, Continuous Learning and Open Communication. 

Corporate Cultures are Healthier
Shifting corporate cultures have changed the Potentially Limited Values (PLVs) and the overall degree of dysfunction has decreased from 20 percent to 17 percent. The Pre-COVID PLVs were Bureaucracy, Control and Hierarchy, while the Post COVID PLVs are Caution, Confusion and Job Insecurity. Though these latter concerns are not positive attributes, nevertheless, it would seem they would be easier to address than the more ingrained PLVs, more difficult to shift. In last week’s Herman Trend Alert, I suggested that leaders “address the concerns of their people” – exactly what this study indicates to me.


What is Needed to Recuperate and Thrive
BVC’s research reports that what organizations need to recover and succeed are Adaptability, Agility, Teamwork, Digital Connectivity, Balance (home/work), and Cross Group Collaboration. Leaders would do well to begin discussing these elements with their teams now in group get-togethers and in one-on-one meetings.

New Values Employees are Looking For
Employees values are changing. More than ever before, they are now looking for Employee Engagement, Innovation, Continuous Learning and Open Communication. In your online meetings, these topics could be valuable subjects for conversation about how to ensure that your New Normal culture will include these components.

Differing views between Leaders and Employees
Sadly, employees and leaders have different perspectives about what is needed to create The New Normal. Leaders would do well to discuss these divergent views as well. Here are the areas in which there are disconnects: Direction and Communication, Agility and Innovation, Trust and Engagement, and Sustainability and Society.

Work with your Employees to Prepare for your New Normal
For those of us who have been working from home, as well as those of us who never shifted because we have always worked from home, there will definitely be a New Normal. (Personally, I am finally planning to develop and deliver an online version of my Employee Retention Specialist Program.) No one knows when it will be truly safe for us to return to our congregate workplaces. That said, begin now to prepare by having these conversations with your people about how to create the workplace you will all want and need to thrive.


Special thanks to the Barrett Values Centre for their research and insights.


© Copyright 1998-2020 by The Herman Group, Inc. — reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.” 



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