The pandemic has forever changed how we do business. Once people realized they could work from home and perform their job just as efficiently, or in some cases, more efficiently, many saw no need to return to the “old” days of time-consuming, expensive, and stressful commutes. On the other hand, are those workers that feel increasingly isolated at home and can’t wait to get back to the office. This leaves organizations struggling to figure out how to balance some employees’ desire to return to the office with other’s preference to stay remote.
With “The Great Resignation” still going strong and companies desperate to attract and retain talent, demanding that all employees return to the office with no exceptions is a sure-fire way to hemorrhage experienced staff. Add to that a multigenerational workforce in which younger employees value the freedom to work from anywhere over a higher salary, and you start to see how impossible it is to return to pre-Covid business as usual. The only solution is to provide a “best-of-both-worlds” hybrid work atmosphere where all employees can benefit from occasional in-person teamwork and collaboration with peers while still maintaining control of their commute and schedule.
One of the keys to implementing a successful hybrid work model is using the right technology to help the workday flow easily and efficiently. This is especially important when you have employees spread out all over the country, or even the world.
Here are six ways your organization can use technology to successfully support a post-pandemic hybrid workforce.
1. Use technology to encourage and enhance communication, both online and in-person.
Over the last two years, Slack has become the virtual watercooler and Zoom became the new conference room. With fewer chances for managers to stop by workers’ desks and have in-person check-ins, or for teams to have impromptu brainstorming sessions, the right technology platform can help to fill in the gaps.
Collaborative employee engagement tools like Inspirus® Connects, ensure that all workers, whether remote, in-office, or hybrid, experience enterprise-wide, transparent communication. The more ways you can find to make it easier for your staff to communicate with you and each other, the better outcome for all involved.
2. Use technology to help your employees connect.
While most workers have gotten used to Zoom and Teams, many are desperate for a sense of real human connection again. According to Microsoft, over two-thirds (65%) of employees are craving more face-to-face time with their teams.
With so many workers feeling isolated, companies can create a sense of community and belonging by providing technology that helps them connect with one another and express themselves through social interaction. Having an online platform that allows employees to connect and support each other, can foster a stronger bond and team culture, reducing stress and making the work environment more productive.
3. Use technology to help motivate and recognize your employees.
Employee recognition is vital if you want to keep your most valuable players. Having an enterprise platform that regularly acknowledges how your workforce is contributing to the overall success of the company, and that provides proper and timely service recognition, increases employee motivation and satisfaction levels.
A platform that allows for peer-to-peer recognition is also important, and in many cases, more powerful than management recognition. When employees feel seen and appreciated, especially by the people they work most closely with, they are happier, more loyal and more productive. This is a win-win-win…for the employee, the team, and the company as well.
4. Use technology to celebrate your employees.
Service anniversaries, birthdays, promotions, charitable activities…all of these types of personal and professional milestones deserve to be celebrated. Implementing employee recognition technology can help you celebrate your staff — and allow them to celebrate each other — by creating personalized messages and experiences that make them feel special.
One of the main reasons that many workers left their jobs during the pandemic was because they didn’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer. Even little things like a birthday card, a shout-out in the employee engagement platform, or a celebration of an important milestone can all add up to make your employees feel a sense of purpose and belonging. And with that, comes an increased sense of company loyalty.
5. Use technology to reward your employees.
What gets rewarded gets repeated.
A technology platform that delivers rewards automatically can help reinforce positive behavior and outstanding work ethic, as well as reduce overall employee turnover. It can also reduce the amount of manual time HR has to spend on a rewards program while providing employees with an online catalog from which they can select their own reward. This is a much more personalized and thoughtful approach than having a one-size-fits all “gold watch at retirement” plan in place.
6. Use technology to foster a sense of inclusion.
Everyone wants to feel included, even those workers that have decided to stay remote permanently.
The right technology can help to promote an inclusive culture by leveling the playing field and making sure that everyone is informed about company news, training opportunities and initiatives, and included in celebrations for both individuals and teams. It can also be used to initiate employee listening, encourage employee feedback, and to inspire employees to live the company values.
Hybrid work is here to stay. Organizations that accept and embrace this new normal will experience less turnover while benefiting from a happier and more loyal workforce. By utilizing the latest employee engagement technology to support a hybrid work environment, leaders can foster better communication, help employees stay connected and motivated, and recognize, celebrate and reward their staff in a way that strengthens teamwork and encourages creativity and productivity, regardless of where they’re working from.