Creating a Workplace Focused on Productivity and Employee Satisfaction
The phrase “return-to-work” is woefully inaccurate. Whatever the workplace looks like in 2022 and beyond, employees are not “returning-to-work”. People have been working as much, if not more, than they were pre-pandemic. Whether public or private sector, employees have had to work harder and more creatively than ever before. The focus, instead, should be on how to work productively and collegially in ever-increasing hybrid workplaces with employees working both together in the office and remotely.
When the pandemic hit and many workers abruptly began to work from home, many employers were concerned that productivity and job satisfaction would plummet. Numerous studies from organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management and Bloomberg have shown little, if any, detrimental impact in either productivity or job satisfaction. The contrary is actually true – the new working arrangement showed how much flexibility one can have in how – and where – they work. As a result, the workplace will never be the same.
Work is defined by what we do, not where we do it. Deciding on a new workplace model and establishing policies that go with it is not a simple undertaking. Organizations need to accept that they may not get it right the first time and should treat this as a continuous experiment in which they regularly measure productivity, collaboration, innovation, and community.
Below are six key elements to consider as organizations shift to a hybrid workplace:
- Reflect on your current state. Now is the time to reflect on your current work environment and learn from past successes and challenges to make your organization more efficient, effective, and one where your employees feel fulfilled and satisfied. Start by evaluating which roles transitioned smoothly to remote work, and which tended to struggle. This can help determine which are more naturally conducive to remote work and which are better suited for a traditional office environment. You can also use this time to consider a new approach to determining remote workers, one built on the premise of remote-first, unless there is a business reason against it.
Now is the time to reflect on your current work environment and learn from past successes and challenges to make your organization more efficient, effective, and one where your employees feel fulfilled and satisfied.
- Involve employees in planning for the future. Ask about their current challenges, their concerns about returning to the office, and their concerns about staying remote. This information will be incredibly useful in building your plan for the future and will go a long way towards making your employees feel heard and considered.
- Create a transition team to develop policies for the new workplace. Ideally, this team is comprised of organization leaders, influential employees, and staff across various areas of your business. Bringing together individuals with differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences will help in creating well-rounded policies and expectations that meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
- Consider technology upgrades or improvements. When companies around the world were thrown into remote work, many made do with their existing technology platforms. In building for the future of hybrid work, you now have an opportunity to evaluate current systems, address challenges and pain points, and implement new hardware, software, or platforms to best support the future of hybrid work environments.
- Clearly develop and publish new policies and expectations for all employees. In our new work environments, communication and organizational alignment is incredibly important. After all, remote work and hybrid work environments should not operate like the wild wild west! After developing your organization’s policies and procedures, share those broadly with all employees, contractors, and new hires. And make them easily accessible to all levels of your organization to help promote an environment of shared understanding and expectations.
- Train and provide learning opportunities for your employees. Your employees and leaders are undergoing massive changes to the way they work, lead, and operate. It’s important to support them by providing tools and training in the areas of workplace safety, change management, working in a hybrid environment, and more. At CI International, we offer the following trainings that are directly applicable to this time:
- Leading in a Hybrid Environment
- Working in a Hybrid Environment
- Leading Change
- Adapting to Change
- Emotional Intelligence
- Motivation and Engagement
- Interpersonal Communications
- Mindfulness and Resilience
- Coaching Skills for Leaders
The hybrid workplace is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine how work gets done. It acknowledges that the “one size fits all” traditional pre-COVID workplace, or for that matter the “one size fits all” remote workplace, leaves some employees out. We need a workplace culture that enables everyone to give at their best. That requires adaptability, flexibility, and embracing the hybrid workplace as the new standard.
We want to travel the road to greatness with you, as a guide for you and those you lead. Learn more about our Post-COVID Workplace Leadership Workshops. Looking for more? To learn how CI International can help your organization move to the next level of effectiveness, fill out a brief contact form, or call 800-559-9785 to start a conversation today.
“I can’t speak highly enough of this contractor. CI International has done a terrific job in providing high- quality training and development.
Not only do they provide relevant, timely, and insightful content, but they also show a true caring and concern for our staff. In the many aspects of how they work with the organization and with the participants, as well as their focus on providing exceptional customer service, they feel like a part of my team.”