If you were to ask employers 30 years ago if they expected remote/hybrid workplaces to be the norm, most would say you’re out of your mind! Though the remote/hybrid work environment has rapidly grown and become a new corporate norm, it’s not void of its challenges. According to SHRM’s article, “How to Boost Employee Performance in a Hybrid Work Environment,” the main pain point that employers have is keeping employee performance on an upward trajectory. While this is a valid pain point that employers have expressed within hybrid environments, this circumstance is not limited to virtual workplaces. This now poses a greater question, What is the current work culture that employers are cultivating, and how does this play into employee performance and engagement?
According to Flore Pradère, Research Director of Global Work Dynamics at JLL, “Work must become an inviting and inclusive destination where each employee can reliably seek mental well-being support, peer recognition and a sense of belonging… It must also become the anchor of an organization, one that enables optimal performance and shared achievements.” To further elaborate on this topic, the article references a survey conducted that provided astounding results:
“Gartner’s Hybrid Work Employee Survey found that the traditional location-centric model erodes performance and well-being, while a human-centric model drives performance, a result that favors hybrid workplaces… Gartner’s research shows that HR can increase employee performance in a hybrid work environment by focusing on the following three core elements:
This data can come off as daunting to say the least, however, it is necessary to increase employee retention, performance and engagement. How do employers institute such principles in their current culture? Here are highlights on these three points.
Empathy-based Leadership: Let’s break this subject down a little further. According to Tony Robbins, well known Coach, Public Speaker, Philanthropist and Author, “Empathetic leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on identifying with others and understanding their point of view. Empathetic leaders take a genuine interest in the people around them – what makes them tick, what inspires them and the way they feel. They want to understand why people are the way they are…” How do we become these empathetic leaders to better serve our employees? According to Dena Upton, Chief People Officer at Drift, relying on employee surveys helped them identify their current work culture and the areas they sought to improve. “We have to be able to align our people metrics with business outcomes to get buy-in from senior leadership… Survey data was instrumental in persuading the leadership team to change the company’s performance management system to focus on output rather than hours worked. “We found that giving employees the freedom of choice to decide when, where and how they work has improved performance.”
Intentional Collaboration: How do we understand and include this powerful concept? According to Alexis Cambon, Research Director for Gartner’s HR Practices, “When you are intentional about how, when and where you meet as a team, the time together becomes an important source of innovation and creativity.” Drift’s CPO highlights the positive changes Drift included to best help with intentional collaboration. “…While there are still desks for those who want or need them, the office is largely collaborative spaces with conversational areas. When employees get together for scheduled events and activities such as sales bootcamps, bonding activities and building out new products, they always include a digital component so that employees who can’t come into the office aren’t excluded.”
Employee Driven Flexibility: How does flexibility affect the company culture short term and long term? As referenced in the SHRM article, “Flexibility can be a powerful recruitment and retention issue, as evidenced by a recent Future Forum survey in which 70 percent of respondents said they were “willing to walk” if they didn’t get the flexibility they want and need at work.” Additionally, according to data found from Cisco’s 2022 Global Hybrid Workplace Survey, as referenced by Francine Katsoudas, Chief People, Policy and Purpose Officer, “…hybrid work improved every area of employee performance, work/life balance, employee well-being and workplace culture, the company decentralized its scheduling process. As a result, team leaders and staff were empowered to make decisions together about when to come into the office… This new flexible way of working will change the way that the offices will be used… The office will be the place to go for client meetings, team bonding events, brainstorming sessions and ‘all-hands-on-deck’ matters.”
Employee performance, whether in a remote, hybrid, or in-person work environment will continue to have an upward trajectory if the business model and structure is employee focused. Do you need assistance with applying these concepts to your current company structure? Clarity is here to help!
We are on the journey with you.
Written by: Stephanie Calhoun
November 14, 2022
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