Keeping employees engaged in a workplace has always been kind of challenging, especially since more companies are embracing the hybrid working model over the strictly remote and at-site models. Changing their setting often leads to fluctuations in productivity and motivation, especially if your company’s goals are focused on creative and innovative work. Many company leaders don’t thoroughly plan flexible models for their organization, which gives consequences on employee engagement and affects their productivity.
It’s also important to note that employees have different opinions about the office and remote models. While some employees find it more productive to work at the office due to all the noise and business that home life may bring, others prefer working remotely.
What’s more, data from Glint (Via LinkedIn) suggests that 87% of employees would like to continue working remotely most of the time. In other words, they’d like to spend more time of the week remote working than working at the office.
So, how to support employee engagement across different teams within an organization? The task may not be easy, especially if employees didn’t have enough time to get to know each other if they always worked online. Luckily, it’s possible with five easy and proven methods we’ll describe below.
What is a Hybrid Workplace?
A hybrid workplace model existed before but is becoming more prominent as the global pandemic of COVID-19 loosens its grasp, encouraging employees to return to offices.
However, instead of working full five days of the week in the office, employees are encouraged to do some days remotely, returning to the offices only for a few days of the week.
A hybrid workplace has been shown to result in more flexibility, autonomy, and productivity among employees, resulting in better work-life balance, less time commuting, and most importantly, reduced stress. Nevertheless, a lot of how a hybrid workplace model turns out depends on the company and what it does to keep the employees engaged, which is why we listed five proven ways to improve employee engagement.
5 Proven Ways to Improve Employee Engagement in a Hybrid Workplace
Make Sure That Managers Adequately Communicate with the Team
Managers are the best way to ensure your organization is prepared to shift from a fully remote model to a hybrid model, without compromising on team engagement.
Managers need to be ready to communicate all issues and insecurities that may arise among employees and across teams that collaborate. Oftentimes, employees may feel a certain level of fear and uncertainty about what comes once they return to the office, even temporarily.
This is where the managers step in. Through detailed and prompt communications, they can learn about the fears employees may have and address them by implementing different changes in the company’s culture.
It’s worth mentioning that managers need to work more on their self-awareness and understanding of how important their role is to different teams and individual employees. Such an approach will help employees understand the perks of working within a hybrid model and improve employee engagement in a hybrid workplace.
Make Communication More Approachable
Although the way managers communicate with teams and individual employees is of utmost importance for the productivity of employees, employees should also have an approachable channel of communication. There’s a great chance that some employees within the same teams have never met outside the remote work model and that in-person communication may appear a little awkward.
Invest in tech and apps that make communication between employees more accessible and approachable. More importantly, you can introduce different communities within your organization’s culture, so that employees can feel more welcome and understood.
Introduce communication channels where employees can share their experiences from trips and work events. You can also introduce LGBT+-friendly channels, as well as channels for people who are remote workers from different countries so that everyone can feel like they have a sense of belonging and much more.
Provide Flexible Options for Everyone
Understandably so, we all have different lifestyles and approach work in unique ways. That being said, while some employees will be happy to spend up to four days in the office, some may barely make it two days of the week outside the comfort of their remote office. Remember that some remote workers travel while working, which makes working in the office impossible.
Everyone deserves a hybrid workplace technology that will enable them to get the most productivity possible out of their workday. Many consider the hybrid workplace model the future of work, and to ensure that it is so, leaders and managers should discuss future-proofed changes in the workplace that will improve collaboration among teams and optimize achievements in each sprint.
Whether you’re working from a home office or the workplace, there’s always a to-do list ready for you to complete during your workday or workweek. Some tasks may be easier, while some other ones are more complex and will require you to work with the rest of your team to complete them.
If your team has a flexible working model, it’d be best to come up with some hybrid workplace solutions, like having your employees delegate their tasks on work-from-home tasks and office tasks. Depending on which model is easier for them, employees could complete certain tasks at home, and other ones in the office.
You can create dashboards where each of those tasks is thoroughly defined, and everyone knows what they can do. One of the best ways to implement this is by using the Kanban management framework and with Kanban Zone, you can easily and seamlessly make dashboards for each team.
That way you can optimize sprints, meetings, stand-ups, and much more while improving productivity in the process and employees can make their personal Kanban to improve their engagement in the workplace.
Embrace the Feedback
Moving from a remote to a hybrid model is a vast step for every company, no matter how big or small it is. Many employees may not be content with this change, but what you can do as a leader, or a manager is to listen to what they have to say and see how the organization can meet their demands.
The hustle culture is often stressful and chaotic which is why organizations need to listen to feedback and implement changes that will improve employee engagement and ensure optimal work performance at the end of the sprint.
Hybrid work may also take a lot of the employee’s time while commuting, while workplace transition may leave many feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and burnt out. If you feel like your employees may not feel confident enough to open up about the experience of a hybrid workplace model, you can host anonymous surveys that will help you see the better picture.
For many organizations, transitioning to a hybrid workplace will be more challenging than expected, but it’s an inevitable change in many companies.
While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, organizations and management should help different teams adapt and make amends to not only improve the performance of the organization but also keep the optimal work-life balance among the employees.
That will encourage them to embrace self-care and mental health. Kanban Zone is equipped with cutting-edge tools to help you manage teams working in a hybrid environment with ease. Make an account and get started today!