The unprecedented and almost universal move to hybrid working is one of the biggest shake-ups of the global workforce in living memory. In a post-Covid world, employees are rarely confined to the office from 9-5, and gruelling commutes are no longer a daily occurrence; nor are people solely stuck at home craving company now that the lockdowns are finally at an end.
But with change comes challenges.
With so many people working hybridly – and often heading into the office on conflicting days – employers find themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to realign their approach to leadership, reassess traditional methods of management and revaluate what their people need to feel supported in their new normal.
In a world where people are more connected than ever before in a digital sense but more remote than ever in their solo set-ups, the role of employee wellbeing platforms has never been more crucial – because the right one can support your people, shape your culture, and influence your leadership approach like nothing else can.
Shaping Culture to Support a Hybrid Workforce
According to a recent report by Gartner, 76% of employees say organisational culture is important for them to be effective in their jobs but employees experience culture differently in a hybrid workplace – making it essential to strengthen ‘culture connectedness’. For a hybrid workplace to be both successful and sustainable then, we have to rip up the rulebook.
Traditionally, culture was built on getting people together, in the same place, for face-to-face interactions. The hybrid working model has disrupted that approach entirely, because people are simply not physically present often enough to create a culture through office-osmosis alone. People are left with a much greater need to feel seen – but this is a fantastic opportunity that leaders can absolutely capitalise on!
Looking at the findings of the Gartner report, employers have a real opportunity to engage their hybrid workers through a three-pronged approach to culture connectedness:
1.“Employee culture connectedness can increase by up to 43% when culture is diffused through work.” Making your people aware of the value of their role in both the team and wider organisation is crucial if you want them to feel a true sense of connection. But it’s also important that they find personal value from their work; as an employer, you can empower them to discover and maximise this. Start by auditing work processes to ensure they align with the values and belief systems of your culture.
Employee wellbeing platforms can connect people digitally in ways they’re familiar with, but haven’t yet experienced through work. They can also be tailored to support your culture and ethos, empower your people to prioritise their wellbeing, and in turn, help them to find true value in their work.
2.“Employee culture connectedness can increase by up to 27% when employees experience emotional proximity.” Creating empathy for your company’s mission by making its impact tangible will help to inspire passion in your people, and engage them emotionally. Identifying “moments that matter” (when employees are most likely to feel seen by others in the organisation), can help you to create these moments more intentionally.
Employee wellbeing platforms can really help companies to capture and create more ‘moments that matter’ within their teams. From the everyday check-ins to the cross-company ‘team challenges’, the opportunities on platforms like GoVida are also invaluable for bringing your people together and encouraging deeper connections.
3.“Employee culture connectedness can increase by up to 19% when achieved through micro-based experiences.” Adopting a more personal approach to company culture makes it easier to adapt to different work contexts. You can equip teams to create their own micro-cultures by recognising and rewarding individualised approaches (rather than pure compliance), and by using macro-culture as a diagnostic to steer away from toxic behaviours.
Employee wellbeing platforms, when tailored to individual interests, circumstances and personality type, have a unique power to support personal (micro) approaches to company culture. Without these platforms, it’s likely to take years of trial and error before you can achieve a healthy hybrid working culture – causing potentially irrevocable damage along the way.
Evolving Leadership and Management for a Hybrid Workforce
The leaders of today are not the same as the leaders of yesterday. People no longer respond to micro-management, or a leader who places profits above the needs of their teams. Instead, today’s leaders have to be authentic, empathetic, and adaptive; they should act with purpose, display a genuine level of care, concern and respect for their people and have the foresight to allow flexibility when the unique needs of their teams demand it.
In a modern workplace, it’s all about leading with compassion; showing your ‘human’ side, and trying to understand your employees as people, rather than cogs in a machine. And that’s the ethos that GoVida was built on. Our employee wellbeing platform is about giving people a voice; encouraging teams to connect in a more human way; empowering managers to lead with authenticity; guiding a workforce in the most transparent way possible – and perhaps most importantly, leading from the top.
A well thought-out employee wellbeing strategy can work wonders for a hybrid business because it is a practical and tangible demonstration that you care, but leaders have to embrace everything that strategy stands for – and they have to encourage their people to embrace it, too. How? By role modelling healthy behaviour, taking regular breaks, prioritising their own wellbeing, using all of the tools and techniques an employee wellbeing platform has to offer, and talking about them regularly with the rest of their workforce to break down barriers and make wellbeing the norm.
GoVida is unique in its offering because it fills the gap left by so many other outfits. It’s not just about physical health; it’s about mental health, too. It’s not US-centric but globally accessible. It’s not fragmented, but rich in resources – and easily customisable. And it’s certainly not just about hitting CSR targets; it’s about furnishing your people with realistic routes for connectedness.
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