Transitioning to a new workplace model has its challenges, but there are ways to make this process as smooth as possible. We share three facts that can help you to provide flexibility, build trust, and put your people and culture at the center of your workplace.
#1 Flexibility is everything
The organization's future strategies should meet employees’ needs. An Adecco Middle East research showed that three out of four employees would appreciate more flexibility and a mix of office-based and remote working. Furthermore, 79% of C-level executives believe that businesses will benefit from increased flexibility. A hybrid model can help organisations make the most of talent wherever it resides, lower costs, and strengthen organizational performance.
Forcing your employees back into the office, may erode trust and have a negative impact on morale engagement and overall job satisfaction. If you want to keep your best performers and see your business grow, your working model should be flexible enough to allow your employees to do their best work and be the most productive.
Certainly, there's no ‘one size fits all approach’ to achieve a well-balanced workplace. It takes small steps to ease into the optimal working model that benefits both organisation and its employees. Consider a pilot program so that there's room to pivot and continue to gather feedback that will enable you to adjust as needs and preferences change across the business.
#2 Building trust starts with leaders
No matter the type of working model, leaders need to ‘talk the walk’ - that is, their behavior and day-to-day actions have to match the aspirations they have for their colleagues and organisation. For example, expecting employees to come in solely because their boss is now in the office and not because of the organisation’s needs can erode trust.
Leaders also need to check their own biases and the subconscious cues, they may be sent to their team. Encourage leaders to ask themselves questions like “Are you showing favoritism with the big projects?”, “Are you giving better treatment to employees who are showing up in the office every day?” Even when work policies don't require it, that's a behaviour to change.
On the flip side, leaders coming into the office to provide face-to-face support to new hires or employees who've felt isolated, distracted, or less creative while working from home - that's helpful behaviour. Ultimately, it's up to leaders to define what flexibility means, what behaviours they expect, and what they will do to both earn and keep employees’ trust.
#3 Putting your people and culture at the forefront
Now, it is a great time to evaluate your company culture. Some useful questions include “How are you engaging with people and fostering inclusion and psychological safety, both in-person and remotely?”, “How are you showing empathy, mitigating burnout, and focusing on wellbeing to help your people recharge?”, “Do employees feel like their growth and development is important?”
Don't wait to hear the negative feedback or worse yet, wait for them to give notice. Before you start asking yourself these critical questions, there is a need to recreate a culture that builds connection and belonging provides work-life balance offers development opportunities, and empowers people to innovate.
Most of all, make sure your employees know you’ve been working on meeting their needs. This is critical because as stated by Forbes, 92% of employees would stay with their current employer if they empathized with their needs.
The employee turnover and job-hopping are predicted to skyrocket this year and we’ve already been witnessing it. So the competition to recruit and retain top talent is certainly on.