Navigating the intricacies of employee relations, operations, and fiscal responsibility, all while trying to get employees back into the office by implementing a hybrid or remote work model, can feel like a tightrope walk in gusty winds over an abyss of consequences.
Laws, cultural expectations, and social media keyboard warriors can leave employers feeling wary of change. Often, societal pressures and trending hot topics can make “change” feel scary. In fact, in business, it seems change is best avoided. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
After all, like Woodrow Wilson said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” Who has time for that? Enemies can equal stress, mental health issues, employee morale decline and attrition. In a struggling economy filled with the pitfalls of finding suitable candidates, the increase of quiet quitting, and the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side mentality, how does a company shift from a fully remote environment back to a brick-and-mortar office or hybrid workforce?
It’s done by setting expectations and creating the capacity for understanding what employees value. If a company is looking for their employee base to embrace a hybrid work model, simply communicating the operational needs for the transition back into the office won’t help them understand the “why” or motivate them to make the change. Operational needs no longer overshadow the needs of employees. If there is one thing that the pandemic taught us, it is the value of time.
“Today’s workplace environment is centered around flexibility, and employees without it remain at a strong risk of attrition,” said Brian Elliott, Executive Leader of Future Forum. “Companies looking to build productive, successful teams need to think about how they provide flexibility not only in where but also when people work.”
Potentially more than pay and perks, we’re seeing a reality emerge: employees value flexibility and connection. One of the biggest motivators for employee engagement is the opportunity to continue to work in a remote environment, while maintaining human connection. As it turns out, this is a great formula for a hybrid work environment.
Here are some tips for transitioning employees back into the workplace by implementing a hybrid model:
As an employer, creating an inviting and enthusiastic return-to-work culture with expectations surrounding robust performance takes intentionality. Set realistic, renewed, and thoughtful goals. Invite employees back into the office and create accountability plans that are communicated to everyone in a relatable manner. Remember to measure progress, take the pulse of your cultural heartbeat, and plan how expectations and success will be calculated and celebrated.
At Clarity, we’ve helped our clients with hybrid work environment transitions and employee engagement and retention. By conducting stay interviews, culture surveys, and policies around flex schedules and remote work expectations, we can help your business, as well. Give us a CALL today!
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