The Making of a Hybrid Work Model that Benefits Company Culture
Corporate Culture is the foundation of any company. Good or bad culture can make or break an organization. At the beginning of the pandemic, corporations around the world had to adjust how to run their business from home. Now that we have entered into the world of hybrid work, it is important to focus on how having a hybrid company can affect corporate culture.
What is Corporate Culture?
Corporate culture is the attitudes and behaviors of the organization. It drives the interactions between employees and managers, employees and employees, as well as employees and clients/customers. Corporate culture can be shaped intentionally or be grown organically. Culture is crucial to the company’s success as it impacts every aspect of the business.
What is Hybrid Work?
The work environment has forever been changed from the pandemic, where and how work is done is drastically different from what it used to be.
A hybrid company is a company that has adopted a working model where employees work partly from home and partly from the office. This model of work existed pre-pandemic but became much more popular post-pandemic as employees want the freedom of working from home but the benefits of collaboration and face-to-face interaction that the office brings.
Maintaining Culture in a Hybrid Company
Since a hybrid environment entails workers being at home and the office, a disconnect between the employee and the team to which they belong may arise. This makes maintaining a good team culture even more important.
Culture is one of the top predictors of workplace satisfaction. So, what can companies do to solidify their culture when moving from an in-office culture to a hybrid culture?
Defining mission, vision and values
Speak to mission, vision and values often. This helps employees connect with the organization they work with. It is easier for an employee to feel satisfied and happy at work when their values align with the values of their workplace.
Focus on Engaging Employees
With hybrid work, the employees’ opportunities for chance interactions with managers and peers are cut in half (approximately), making it difficult to build meaningful connections. This requires managers to put extra effort into connecting with their employees. A few ways to do so are:
Scheduling frequent 1:1s
Scheduling check-ins with team members allows managers to show empathy and care for their employees. It also helps managers assess where their team needs extra support and help keep productivity and morale up. These one-on-one meetings can occur virtually or physically but if held virtually, the camera function should be encouraged.
Create intentional time for brainstorming
When working from home half the time, it becomes hard to pop over to a colleague’s office to have impromptu brainstorming meetings. By creating scheduled meetings for ideation and strategizing, people’s ideas can be heard.
Incorporate bonding activities
It has likely been a while since team members have had time to connect face-to-face. Take advantage of days that everyone is in the office to have bonding activities. Some ideas include social lunches, a game day, or an ice cream social.
Use Trust when Managing Performance
With employees working both at home and in the office, companies can no longer equate attendance to productivity. There must be a value shift from hours worked to tangible results. Managers need to use a greater amount of trust in their employees when working in a hybrid model. A few ways to reimagine performance management in a hybrid company are:
Have Clear Goals
With result-driven performance management, the goals and objectives must be clearly communicated to all employees. Not only does it help managers see if tasks are being completed and targets are being completed, but it helps employees feel connected and motivated as they know what they are working towards.
Involve Employees when Setting Goals
When setting goals, employees should be involved in deciding on targets. Managers should work closely with their employees to identify metrics that should be used to identify success. This improves trust between managers and employees.
Communication is Key
The availability of information and the channel in which it is distributed is key in a hybrid workplace. The same amount of information should be available to employees in the office as well as employees working from home.
It is important to find a strategy for sharing information that works for each unique team. Some teams prefer sharing information on platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, while others prefer to stick with emails. It all depends on the size and culture of the team.
Hybrid work is here to stay. Creating a culture tailored toward hybrid work can greatly improve attracting and retaining employees. Ultimately, this is not about changing company culture but rather adjusting it so it can be accessed no matter where the employee is working.
Contact Egan for your Hybrid Office Needs.