Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella sees an increase in complexity when identifying the appropriate hybrid work model for an organisation. “The vast majority of employees say they want more flexible remote work options, but at the same time also say they want more in-person collaboration, post-pandemic.” According to a recent poll by Dubai Eye Breakfast Radio, 44.7% of participants are looking for a hybrid approach. If you haven’t defined yours, here are some considerations to keep in mind.

 

Collaboration

According to Nadella, teams have kept their communication and collaboration at the same level or higher when working remotely. Unfortunately, the collaboration with further removed teams has decreased at the same time and signifies the old issue of working in silos.

No matter how your hybrid work model will look like, everyone has to make a conscious effort of reaching out and including others. Conversations in a meeting may be flowing while those on the call feel let out. “Out of sight, out of mind.”

You may wish to set specific days for collaboration sessions and ask employees, if possible, to join in person. Herman Miller suggests splitting the office into different areas, that is fewer individual workspaces and more collaboration and focus spaces. Will you create dedicated collaboration spaces? Or will you let your teams meet in co-working spaces?

And what will you do with regional teams that will continue to work online? Will you bring back the annual in-person meetings to strengthen team bonds?

 

Engagement

Do you know what your employees want? In the past, annual employee surveys gave those insights. These days, we need more frequent pulse surveys to understand how and what your employees are feeling.

How comfortable are they with the hybrid model? How are they adjusting to being around their colleagues in person? As employers, we need to be open to hearing our employees and acting on it. We can still experiment by setting shorter timeframes and evaluating after 3-6 months.

While most organisations are still identifying their way forward, there may not be as many opportunities for spontaneous chats. Everyone is aware of that. If you haven’t introduced a virtual watercooler, read how Accenture offers “nth floor” virtual office experiences.

 

Performance

We’re seeing the trend for more frequent performance enhancing conversations continue. Still, there’s also the need for HR teams to coach their leaders and empower them with discussion points.

In a world that is rapidly changing, organisational goals are still cascaded downwards. There is, however, a need for clearer goals with shorter timeframes. In addition, team goals are now included. Especially for project teams, the focus is on outcomes. After every milestone, feedback on each project member is collected and shared with the individual to ensure success for the next project phase.

The shift in perspective started last year when a large number of organisations applied softer performance ratings. Leaders are now considering not only the task and the employee’s behaviour. They also include the individual’s well-being. How is the employee doing today? How can they improve tomorrow? Are they using their strengths and how can they apply them more often?

In addition, employees have to be pro-active and seek feedback. Colleagues, team members, vendors, suppliers and customers can contribute to 360-degree-feedback. After all, an employee is more than their work as seen by their direct supervisor.

However you’re introducing your unique hybrid work model, be open to your employees’ feedback and concerns. Being an employer who mandates a full return to the office is unlikely to be an employer of choice.

Contact us and learn how we support organisations re-design their jobs fit for a hybrid way of working.