Leadership in the hybrid workplace
Do you remember what it was like before the pandemic broke out around the world? Do you miss going to a workplace with colleagues?
How should organizations adjust and adapt their strategy for their employees?
An article from Gallup believes that even if an employee has been with the company for 30 years, and regardless of whatever role they have, employees need to learn new skills when the way of working develops as fast as it does today. This applies above all to the digital way of working. Many companies are planning for a workplace with hybrid work, where employees alternate between working from home and in the office. Learn how to reduce your vulnerability.
Leadership and communication
Gallup reports seeing an increase in the total commitment of employees during the pandemic. This is mostly due to in increase in transparency and leaders’ more frequent communication with the organization.
Something that has become clear during the pandemic is that leaders communicated directly with managers, a strategy that was needed because the world was different.
The leaders became more hands on and stood for much of security in a troubled time. This creates a clear signal to everyone in the organization to continue working forward despite the challenge of the times.
To learn from this, leaders need to review their communication and presence with their employees in the future. The perceived engagement increased during the first part of the pandemic because employees felt seen. A high-yield strategy for creating a highly perceived commitment and willingness to perform among employees. For the hybrid way of working to work, the advice is to communicate directly, pay attention and affirm everyone to ingrain a feeling of actually belonging to a team that works in the same direction. Read about the cost of low employee engagement.
Create new habits and routines
According to Gallup, organizations need to create new habits for working with following up the work that is going on in the business. For example, it is not as easy to just knock on a room and spontaneously get an update on how the work is progressing.
When working remotely, it is not as easy to ask how the employee is feeling. Here, you as a manager or leader need to find a way to check in with employees digitally. A phone call, or using Teams, Zoom, etc.
Since most people need to be affirmed, seen and heard, this needs to be reinforced. It is a challenge for many to sit alone at home.
Holistic view of employees
In the new era of working from home, you as a leader need to use a more holistic view of your employees. You need to give more responsibility to the individual to take care of their duties. It will not suit everyone to work from home while taking great personal responsibility to maintain a high level of production and a high work ethic.
Some need to leave home and go to the office to get in the state of “now I have to work”. Here, as a manager or leader, you need to understand that an adaptive and holistic approach to the employee will be the future.
Pandemics have proven that there are those who even perform better when they are allowed to work remotely. There are also those who testify that they do not at all and perform well in teleworking
Gallup believes that when the employees themselves find this balance between work and life, performance will increase and commitment will rise to new heights. Parents who need to commute three hours a day to work will probably appreciate taking 10 minutes to drop off and pick up their children at school. This creates a more harmonious and less stressed employee so that they can both have time to work and manage family life.
Children also have the opportunity to become more satisfied with their parents. Employees who have a need to go to a workplace also need to understand this. In the future, leadership will be crucial. Maybe a new leadership word will emerge – flexible leadership.
Structure and new ways of working
Gallup partners believe that informal meetings at the coffee machine or in the hallway are now lacking. Many creative solutions to challenges have traditionally been found in such spontaneous meetings. Attempts have been made to organize social events digitally, but these have not been prioritized by employees.
As a leader, you need to realize what your employees are doing and how it relates to the whole. Then you can stimulate meetings and digital gatherings between the right people to increase the opportunities for collaboration.
Performance at work
Remote work has negatively affected those leaders that are already weak, and further compounded the poor leadership. Mostly through micro-management of employees, with unnecessary meetings that do not contribute to production. This according to the same article from Gallup. A natural talent to lead is held by about one in ten people, possibly 2 out of 10 if they receive training in leadership and coaching.
Leaders and managers have become extremely important when it comes to communicating with employees due to the pandemic and teleworking.
As many as 52% of the employees experienced weak communication in the leadership during the transition to teleworking.
Those with personnel responsibilities or a leadership position will need to change their leadership even further. They need to become responsive and gain a greater understanding of creating an environment of togetherness. These things needs to be taken into consideration in the new, digital way of working.
An employee’s work performance needs to be built on well-being. Not only at work but also in life in general. A leader primarily takes care of what happens at work. Here, leadership is needed that shows a commitment to the employee’s status. Gallup’s data show that only 45% of employees felt that the company cared about their well-being. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that leaders are aware that a path to achievement is by caring for the well-being of their employees.