Building a Better Hybrid Culture

Mar 28, 2023

Your employees, present and future, want options. The biggest option on their list: A hybrid work environment. According to a McKinsey/Ipsos study, 58% of American workers were able to work from home at least one day a week[1]. If that changes, so too could who these same employees work for: A Gallup poll found that six in 10 fully remote employees and three in 10 hybrid remote employees were “extremely likely” to change companies if they were not offered some form of remote flexibility[2]. So how popular is the hybrid work culture? That same McKinsey/Ipsos report shows that when offered the option, 87% of employees will choose a hybrid work arrangement. That means your organization will attract – and retain – employees by embracing a more flexible hybrid work arrangement. But when it comes to managing the hybrid workforce, many organizations find themselves struggling to apply traditional management to a nontraditional workforce. A Mercer study reveals that just one-third of organizations have formal rules in place for managing a hybrid culture. So what are they doing? A surprising 48% are relying on informal or ambiguous guidelines, 17% are hands-off, and just 34% have formal rules in place[3]. Fortunately, those guidelines or formal rules are quite easy to establish and maintain. With just a few key changes, your organization can have a successful, thriving hybrid culture. Here’s how: Drop the 9-to-5 requirement. Trust your employees to know what type of work schedule suits their needs. Your employee’s most productive hours may not be nine-to-five. Your employees have other obligations, as evidenced by many who had to juggle childcare or elder care during the pandemic. Allow your workers the freedom to define their best hours. Measure differently. Dropping the 8-hour requirement means you need to measure productivity and performance in a new way. We at WAHVE measure based on goals met and projects completed. It makes perfect sense to set benchmarks and measure employee performance that way. Besides, in no instance has it ever been proven that making employees put in eight hours makes them more productive. Put communication as a priority. Setting those benchmarks together with your employee also creates a more open line of communication. Communication, especially in a hybrid culture, is essential to the success of your workers and your organization. Managers should communicate with employees regularly. That makes it much easier to measuring employee results against those benchmarks Revamp management process. If you’ve done the first three things, you’re already halfway there. Communication is central to a hybrid work model. So is training, mentoring, and coaching. Managers are the sources for offering support and resources to employees. Make sure your managers understand how to manage remote teams and how to better support remote workers. Employ the right technology. Give employees the tools they need to be more productive and happier in their roles. Replace old technology. Give them access to training, mentoring and career-improvement resources. Make sure they have several ways by which they can communicate with you and your management team. Engage every employee in collaboration among both in-house and remote teams and make sure everyone has a chance to participate no matter where they’re located. Now that organizations are returning to offices, it is imperative that your organization understand and address the needs of your workforce. The time and effort you devoted to remote work amid pandemic lockdowns can and should be a springboard for a more agile hybrid work model. Tweak your management style now and your company can retain top talent, attract new talent, and remain competitive and productive well into the future. [1] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/real-estate/our-insights/americans-are-embracing-flexible-work-and-they-want-more-of-it [2] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/397751/returning-office-current-preferred-future-state-remote-work.aspx [3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/glebtsipursky/2023/02/17/new-study-shows-shocking-lack-of-hybrid-work-guidelines/?sh=38a78ac84449

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