We know that many of you are starting to consider your organizational work model and what it will look like going forward.
Everywhere you look these days there is talk of the hybrid work model, and yet, there is little alignment about what those words mean in any particular setting.
For the past 3 – 5 years, there has been increasing awareness that employees who have more flexibility in the way they get work done are often more productive. And, in a recent survey*, 47% of employees said they would likely look for another job if their employer doesn’t offer a hybrid work model. In light of the pandemic, the hybrid model has come to mean some blend of working remotely and working in the office. Yet leaders who are considering a hybrid work model will be best served if they consider the various ways flexibility can be lived.
Here are some examples:
- Some people work best in the early morning hours while some work better in the evening and there are some who work better between 12am and 4am.
- Some people can be extraordinarily productive working remotely while others find that working from home makes it difficult to focus and others find working in an office most motivating.
- Some people work best when they can work alone in a quiet space with a door while others work best working among their teammates in an open office space.
- Some people work very effectively when they work part-time while others thrive in a full-time role.
As leaders, you’re responsible
for creating a model
that works for your company.
To do so effectively,
involve people in a way
that creates psychological safety.
This allows individuals and teams
to navigate these decisions
with respect for one another
and for the needs of the organization.
So, what can you do to ensure that you’re responding to this new pandemic phase as an inclusive, respectful leader?
- Consider the various ways you can tailor the work to employees’ needs before opening up the conversation, being careful not to promise anything that you can’t provide.
- Survey your employees about what they need to be successful. In the survey or conversation, describe the different ways the organization can support employees.
- Review their input respectfully.
- Let them know how you will take their perspective into consideration. For example:
- Are you looking for the sweet spot that is good for the individual, team, and organization?
- Will you let each person have the model that works best for her/him?
- When looking at the various comments, keep this question in mind, “What would have to be in place for the various hybrid models to work?” Don’t get caught in a win-lose mindset but instead, look for “the win” for all involved.
- Don’t hold differences in perspective against the person who is sharing what they need to be successful.
Use this as an opportunity to influence others and be influenced by others.
We’ve found that the leaders who are being inclusive in these decisions and getting creative with the outcomes, are seeing more motivated and committed teams.
We’re also seeing that those leaders who are treating this decision as a one-size-fits-all approach, are finding themselves with a number of key employees seeking work elsewhere.
As leaders, you’ve been through an experience like no other, and so have your employees.
To remain successful, work together to create enough psychological safety to have frank discussions about the needs of the organization and your employees. Both must be addressed.
This week, think about having these discussions and see what’s possible. Please let us know how it goes.
How can we support you?
If you’d like support in engaging your team
about a hybrid work model, contact us today.