With strategic and well-timed lockdowns in countries like New Zealand and Australia, many employers are welcoming employees back to their offices after many months of working from home. Although many restrictions have been lifted and the Covid-19 cases have dropped substantially, many employees still find it risky to join the workforce physically. There is always a potential risk amongst the pandemic, and with many members living with family putting their life on the line is something they would like to avoid. Employers, therefore, have to be considerate in this regard and work around the given scenario.
The hybrid workforce trend isn’t only affected by employee concerns regarding covid-19 but rather the flexibility offered from remote working is also a key factor. Many employees, therefore, prefer to work in this manner and would want to work like this for the foreseeable future.
HR Leaders should be aware of the hybrid model, and the potential challenges it brings along with it especially when considering employee engagement. Work may be completed from any remote area, however, creating an office-like atmosphere to keep all employees in the loop and fully engaged in hybrid discussion is something to be aware of. The HR has to be proactive on the matter to ensure the gap between the office team and remote workers. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to keep the employee engagement levels on a high with the hybrid workforce in mind.
- Rewards and Recognition:
Rewarding and appreciating your employees is always a must, however in a time where financial stability is shaky giving out monetary rewards may not be the ideal solution. However, appreciating and recognizing the employee’s efforts should never be taken lightly, especially in a hybrid workforce where a job well done may go unnoticed due to the physical absence of the employee. Appreciating them for their efforts as we do in person should be transferred over to the remote workers as well, giving out titles such as employee of the month or openly congratulating them in team communication channels.
- Digital Learning:
Keeping a constant check on remote workers is key for any HR Leader, keeping them in the loop and given the same respect as the in-house employees. Therefore Learning and Development opportunities shouldn’t be compromised, but rather be accommodated in a manner that doesn’t make the remote workers feel left out. Developing an L&D program that caters to both types of employees in the hybrid workforce will be a key aspect for the HR Leaders. Opting for e-Learning or digital learning modules for the continuity of L&D will prove to be the right choice. e-Learning modules are easily accessible and can be easily set up, providing the best solution to the problem.
- Proactive communication:
During the lockdown, when all employees and other staff members worked remotely a greater emphasis was put on communication with constant updates in communication channels as well as multiple updates daily to keep everyone in the loop. However, with the ease in restrictions and open offices, communication has fallen off from what it was. The hybrid workforce demands the same level of commitment to keep communication effective during these times, with the help of Slack multiple channels can be created to accommodate both sets of employees. Similarly having discussions via video call or conferencing can help bridge the gap between the employees.
- Develop managers to adapt to the hybrid workforce:
Modern problems require modern solutions, and a relatively new hybrid workforce requires newly upskilled managers to cope with this new age of working. The quality of managers during the quickly changing digital era is critical for leaders to support and engage with their teams. Tasks such as goal priority, team meetings, and employee check-ins should be included in this new upskilling of managers to ensure both in-house and remote workers are kept productive and on track. Similarly to managers, HR Leaders should learn more about the pros and cons of a hybrid workforce in order to stay on top of any potential issue that may arise.
- Align learning to strategic business priorities:
After COVID-19, talent will heavily be relied on to help rebuild organizations. Expanding into new markets and territories to meet consumer demands. Therefore, aligning training with the most important business priorities is key. Relevant learning in line with business priorities will help HR Leaders identify which programs check all the boxes. In addition, in a distributed environment, ensuring that all employees work towards the same goal will help the team gel better together, something which has never been more important than in a hybrid workforce environment.
Boosting employee engagement in a hybrid workforce with the help of advanced digital tools such as the complete HR management of PeopleSonic is the modern way to go! Such software allows you to work with your employees and focus more on their engagement and productivity whereas the automated functionality does the rest for you. Keeping employees engaged with an online learning curve will not only help the development of related skills but ease their workload, which are all signs of a healthy workspace and engaged employee!