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3 Things to Consider When Designing an Employee Experience Strategy for a Hybrid Workforce

Today's post comes to us from Workforce Institute board member and HR Bartender Sharlyn Lauby. 

By now, you've probably heard someone mention the term “hybrid” workforce. It's when an organization has a large number of both onsite and remote workers.

Prior to the pandemic, many organizations had a large number of onsite workers and a small number of remote employees (if any). As such, the majority of the employee experience was created with the onsite workforce in mind.

Now, with the growing numbers of remote workers, organizations should review and possibly refresh their employee experience strategy to reflect this new hybrid workforce. In doing so, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Trust will continue to be an essential element of the employee experience. Trust has always been an important part of manager and employee relations. In the latest research from The Workforce Institute, over half of employees said that trust impacts their productivity, wellbeing, and sense of belonging - all qualities that employees need, regardless of their location. Building and maintaining trust will be even more important as we emerge from the pandemic and shift focus toward economic recovery.
  2. Transparency and open communications need a strategy. When everyone works in an office, we can walk around the corner and simply tell a co-worker information or ask for assistance. Communications can be informal and still be effective. With a hybrid workforce, communications have to be more intentional, but that doesn't mean they have to be stuffy. Organizations will want to think about how they are going to share information and collaborate in a way that's effective and aligns with the employee experience.
  3. Training and development should have a virtual component. Fortunately, over the past few months, employees have become more comfortable with online learning. It's time for organizations to take full advantage of this and incorporate virtual components into orientation, onboarding, skills training, and professional development. And managers should be trained on how to use video techniques in department training sessions. Virtual training can not only be great for first-time learning but can be used for refresher sessions.

The good news is that technology can help with all of these areas. Organizations can use technology tools to communicate, train, and follow-up with employees, regardless of where they're working right now. This builds trust because the employee knows that the organization is able to share important information with them in a timely fashion. And the organization knows the employee can share their feedback at any time from any location. It also means that as the organization grows and needs to change, technology is a respected tool that can be used by everyone.  

Would you consider your organization to be a hybrid one? Was it before COVID? What changes do you think need to be made if you are now working in a hybrid organization? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and CLICK HERE to download our most recent research on Trust in the Modern Workforce.

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