It’s time for our third and final blog of our productivity silver bullet series! In case you missed them, part one showed set the context for hybrid working and it’s history in working life. In part two, Tim looked at how to optimise the opportunity to improve people engagement and productivity using home and hybrid working where it is practical for your business. Read on to look at how this can impact on our people experience, and how we can ensure positive and productive outcomes for all our colleagues.
Once your organisation has chosen the path of implementing a planned approach to home and hybrid working, how do you go about it? Your hybrid working approach needs to become a core part of your Employer Value Proposition, your promise and how you deliver it through your people experience.
People experience is the employee’s perception of their day-to-day work and culture, and it is one of the biggest drivers in productivity, retaining great talent and differentiating your organisation. To elevate your people experience, the first step is to generate a deep understanding of how your employees feel, what motivates them and the physical and digital experience that will drive the greatest productivity and emotional connection to your organisation.
Experience parity is essential. Ensuring that all employees have an equitable quality of experience, no matter their mode of working is critical when creating ‘signature moments’ throughout the employee lifecycle. Thinking about the varying demands of your hybrid workforce and tailoring your solutions and programs accordingly will be key to further unlock motivation and engagement.
While there is no quick solution to achieve experience parity, here are a few ideas:
Invest in technology
While not a solution in itself, having the right technology will enable your employees to be productive and unlock connection and collaboration with their peers. Change management cannot be underestimated and bringing less technologically confident colleagues up to speed and supporting them when technology falls short is important to bridge the experience gap.
Build manager capability
With hybrid working, an even bigger part of the experience is in the hands of the line manager, with new demands on cascading information, supporting day to day and the holistic well-being of their teams. Facilitating training sessions on topics such as inclusive leadership and managing performance in the hybrid world is key to ensure that all employees have an equal opportunity to develop and advance their careers.
Tailor your offering
Free gym membership, snacks and wellness hours in the office? For remote employees these benefits have little value. An allowance for technology at home, Wi-Fi and Employee Assistance Programmes however might be very well received. Giving your employees the opportunity to choose benefits that matter to them from a range on offer can have a big impact on engagement and get you one step closer to experience parity.
Foster a sense of belonging
Building connection and community remains key to ensure engagement in the hybrid world. Reimagining your internal communications and all company events through the lens of your remote workforce is a first step to unite your teams with a common purpose. Secondly, creating spaces for employees to connect, support and learn in a more informal way will have a major impact. New joiner communities and Employee Resource Groups (interest or advocacy groups) are a great first step way to facilitate peer support at ‘signature moments’.
Take it one step further and introduce ‘come work with me’ job swap programs to facilitate connections across teams. When designing new initiatives, make sure that they are equally as accessible and engaging for your hybrid workforce. Lean in and capture feedback as you go and adjust – to ensure an impactful experience for all.
Fire that silver bullet – and hit the target!
Across our silver bullet series, we have focussed on the benefits, some challenges and the how-to’s of hybrid working…
The pandemic has put us on a different, arguably significantly better, path in terms of workplace practices. Whilst it is likely you already have home and hybrid working in your organisation, it is has probably grown organically over the pandemic, or was in place before. either way, it needs to be reviewed, proactively planned to optimise the opportunities it presents, and it may be appropriate to consider scaling up.
Whatever your current home and hybrid working approach, it needs to be a core part of your overall Employer Value proposition and be integrated into your employee lifecycle throughout the year, with a focus on the experience it delivers for your people, wherever they are able to work. It is here to stay, and we know that in the so called ‘war for talent’ the opportunity to work flexibly both in terms of when and where people work is a key differentiator, so it’s important to get it right.
With all that’s going on in our economic and political scene right now, we believe that this is the perfect time to solve the challenge of declining people engagement and productivity.
It’s time to fire the silver bullet.
If you have questions about what you’ve read, or want to talk about how you can leverage hybrid working in your organisation to maximise employee engagement and productivity fill in the form below.