The key to building an engaged workforce is building a shared culture. In order to accomplish this, managers need to know how to create and maintain a transparent environment where productivity and efficiency are enhanced.
The workplace is constantly changing. Some businesses are growing, and others stalling, all are hiring and firing, and employees are changing lanes with increasing frequency. The modern workforce is hungry for alternative workplace arrangements. New generation employees are clamoring to work in hybrid workforce settings and companies are in a race to create and sustain productive work environments.
Some entities have taken this change as an opportunity to radically rethink how they recruit, train, compensate, and promote talent to keep up with the changing demands of their workforce. Businesses are realizing they can achieve organizational success while meeting employees’ needs for flexibility without sacrificing productivity or quality.
A hybrid workforce—a mix of remote and in-office employees—is fast becoming the new norm. And for good reason. It comes with many benefits—saving time and money while allowing maximum flexibility to address the unexpected and take advantage of opportunities quickly. Workers with flexible schedules can avoid time-wasting commutes and complete tasks more productively. They can better address personal issues, such as attending to household chores with less stress. That, in turn, increases their loyalty and makes them more likely to remain with a given company.
Despite the advantages, however, companies often encounter challenges when they adopt a hybrid workforce model. The most common: The lack of a strong shared culture. This can result in poor communication and collaboration between remote and in-office employees, which negatively affects morale and productivity.
Bringing together remote and in-office workers into a hybrid workforce is no easy task. Certainly, there are tech solutions to help, but none of them will function as well as a well-developed culture.
Culture has a positive influence on workplace collaboration (after all, it really is about people). Companies that value their employees know that building a sense of shared values and trust means more than just getting workers to complete assigned tasks. Employees will accomplish more if they are engaged, encouraged, rewarded.
The key to building an engaged workforce is building a shared culture. In order to accomplish this, managers need to know how to create and maintain a transparent environment where productivity and efficiency are enhanced. That can seem daunting in the wake of such profound changes, but with judicious planning and the right tools, every company can build a hybrid workforce with all the benefits that it brings.
Rethink Employee Communication And Engagement
Traditional workplaces benefitted from everyone being in a centralized locale, which made communication and engagement easier. Workers could easily walk to a colleague’s desk in order to get the information they needed, while group activities like lunches and birthday parties facilitated bonding between team members.
While there are countless sources that discuss employee engagement and communication, a lot of the information is geared toward traditional work models. When bringing together a hybrid workforce, there are unique challenges that companies need to prepare for. Companies that are will be more successful.
Communication is the cornerstone of any strong, hybrid workforce. The solution, then, is not to insist on an outdated work model to facilitate those bonds, but rather to facilitate clear and transparent communication channels.
- Ensure that remote workers are kept in the loop about company announcements and events.
- Facilitate transparent interaction: allowing employees to provide input on schedules and projects.
- Identify productive avenues of communication, including alternative channels such as chatrooms and apps.
Smarten Spaces solutions are designed to facilitate this kind of employee engagement. Community Feed and Survey & Feedback options let you securely share updates and posts with your team. Conduct surveys to monitor employee health and sentiment along with channels that enable open and transparent employee feedback.
Retain The Social Aspect of Work
Similarly, a strong social network can and should be maintained in a hybrid workforce environment, allowing remote employees to retain the benefits of social exchanges. That used to mean things like “water cooler chats” and in-person collaboration.
Again, your approach should not retain that model at the expense of the benefits of a hybrid workforce but adapt it to suit the needs of one. That means retaining the social aspects of work for those working remotely, which essentially means factoring their needs into the equation.
Be mindful of remote workers’ needs when scheduling group meetings. Consider things such as picking up kids from school or tending to an elderly relative. Encourage team members to meet up one-on-one and make virtual spaces readily available for doing so if needed. It also means making adjustments for team members in different time zones, and adapting to habits such as sending PDFs rather than physically printing out important documents.
That requires a lot of organizational capacity. Here, Smarten Spaces does the heavy lifting for you. Leveraging our powerful AI technology innovation, the workplace community feed feature provides a single digital platform to appraise and update features, while a user-friendly people-finder helps employees locate colleagues swiftly.
A unique AI algorithm to completely automate seat planning for social distancing, while the Contact Tracing feature leverages comprehensive data and real-time information to track transmissions with minimal intrusion.
Autonomy is Not The Enemy
Hybrid workforces entail a good deal of autonomy: far more than might have been normal in a centralized office plan just a few years ago. This requires a mind-shift on the part of managers who need to have confidence in their workers to complete their assigned tasks in a timely manner.
Autonomy means trust, and that means allowing employees to determine what works best for them in terms of working from home or the office. A one-size-fits-all approach almost never works. Instead, look for the ways different employees thrive, listen to their concerns, and accommodate them with the belief they will complete their tasks on time. That in turn, increases the trust factor among employees, confident they’re being heard and their concerns addressed.
Smarten Spaces can help nurture that trust and autonomy. It lets you empower every employee with the ultimate flexibility: the world’s first scheduler for hybrid work. As the technology is synced with desk booking, you get AI-powered recommendations to book a seat based on your own and your teammates’ schedules and location. Hot desk and smart meeting room bookings can be integrated into calendars like Outlook and Google, as well as popular collaborative meeting tools such as Zoom. Workers can also create and monitor service requests, letting them note a need for IT or sanitization services, and even order and pay for food.
Support Your Hybrid Workforce Using Smarten Spaces
Hybrid workforces are rapidly becoming the go-to model for any business intent on succeeding in the new economy. This means employers need to rethink the way they build their teams to help them thrive.
The new year provides an opportunity to recode your company’s culture. A new operating model that works for both employer and employee will help establish a hybrid culture that benefits everyone associated with it. In order to extract the maximum benefit, your company needs to carefully plan how employees will collaborate as well as be able to function efficiently without compromising productivity or morale. It’s key to transitioning to a hybrid workforce, and the right tools will prove invaluable in doing so effectively.
Get in touch with Smarten Spaces today and together let’s build an office culture that benefits both the business and its most valuable resource—its people—so you can get more done faster while ensuring a healthier work-life balance for your hybrid workforce.