As companies get their bearings in establishing a new hybrid workforce, company leadership needs to understand that company culture is going to undergo its own transformation. When a company and its employees share the same set of strong beliefs and values, the employees are more likely to stick around, individuals and teams are more likely to work more productively, and even a company’s financial performance could see a positive impact.
As the hybrid workforce continues to grow into what will become the future of work, company leadership should tap into their most valuable resource – their employees – to understand their thoughts, concerns and learn about their ideas. Here are five questions companies should ask employees to ensure they are on the right path in transforming their company cultures for the hybrid workforce.
- Do you feel recognized by the company and your managers?
Recognizing your employees for their successes—no matter how big or small—can go a long way in making them feel appreciated. Unfortunately, 63 percent of employees don’t feel like they get enough praise at work.
Because companies aren’t working in person all the time – or at all – now, giving someone praise as you pass them in the hall or run into them at lunch doesn’t work anymore. Nor do the monthly employee appreciation lunches, happy hours, etc.
Ask employees how frequently they need recognition, and in what form it’s most appreciated. From a monetary perspective, spot bonuses and annual bonuses may be popular, but for many employees, what they really want is an email to be sent out to their team, perhaps with key company executives copied, praising them for a big win or for their hard work on a successful project.
- Do you need or want a more flexible schedule?
As more people adjusted to working from home over the past 18 months, they’ve evolved to find the benefits for their personal lives. For example, 50% say they have more time to exercise (a 19% increase from before) and 51% say they feel less stressed (a 22% increase). Women, in particular, are experiencing the benefits, with 48% saying they have more time to exercise (a 27% increase) and 56% saying they feel less stressed out (a 30% increase) before.
Additionally, many workers are open to having their company explore the notion of a 4-day workweek or even meeting-free days. When surveyed about two trending, progressive ideas regarding the future of work, 69% said they think one meeting-free day a week would increase their productivity, and 67% said the 4-day workweek would.
Now is the time to explore changing the rules of the stringent 9-to-5, or in some cases 8-6, a workday that we’ve all been keeping since the end of WWII. It will need to make sense for the company, and for the company’s customers and partners, but as long as employees are getting their work done and meeting expectations, it’s important to give them some leeway to meet their needs. A little flexibility goes a long way when it comes to improving morale and making life less stressful.
- Are you worried about what working from home means for your career path?
Employee concerns about their career path in a hybrid workplace world might actually end up being the biggest issue companies will need to tackle. Adopting the mantra “out of sight does not mean out of mind” by company executives and managers should be once they repeat to themselves daily. Here’s why.
A recent survey found that 47% of respondents are concerned that they might be passed over for promotions, pay increases, or new opportunities if they continue working from home full time. And, of those who want to continue to work from home full time, 53% have this concern.
Addressing and remedying employees’ fears of being overlooked for promotions and career opportunities because they work from home full time should be a top priority for every organization with remote workers.”
- What do you think is the best, most successful way to communicate with your team members?
At this point, your employees know what works, what doesn’t work, and what could work in terms of how they are communicating with their team members at work. If it hasn’t been done already, now is the time to determine what technology and platforms your employees need to be successful in communicating and working with each other, and to make these technology investments. This includes everything from the video conferencing technology you use for team calls, to the employee engagement and productivity platform you select, to chat and other communications platforms.
Teamwork makes the dream work. And when your employees can effectively communicate the more likely it is that everyone will succeed. Additionally, not only does communication strengthen the relationships of employees within your company, but it’s also really motivating for everyone involved and plays a big part in improving your company culture.
- How do you want to have fun and socialize with your team members?
Did you know that what employees have missed the most about the office during the pandemic – in October 2020 and in July 2021, is interacting with their co-workers in person? If you didn’t, it’s time to get familiar with how to host regular virtual social events for your employees. Not sold? Here’s another stat to consider – 60% of the most productive & engaged people working from home have been frequently offered virtual social work events during the pandemic.
Just about anything and everything can be transformed into a virtual event. To get the most out of the time and investment in virtual events, get started by making sure people can still interact with each other. At Ten Spot, we advise our customers to adopt a healthy mix of challenges, like step or trivia challenges that can be team-based, entertainment that could include a comedy night, “live” music, or a movie, and classes, which could range from yoga and meditation, to mixology and cooking. These events don’t only give people a chance to interact socially during the event but provide them with shared experiences that create memories and continue to be topics of conversation long after the events have ended.